Keynote speakers

Caroline de la Porte

Caroline de la Porte

Professor in European and Comparative Welfare Governance and Policy

Caroline de la Porte is Professor in European and Comparative Welfare Policy at the Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark. Prior to joining CBS, Caroline was Associate Professor at the Department of Social Science and Business, Roskilde University (2013–15) and at the Centre for Welfare State Research (CWS), University of Southern Denmark (2007–13). She holds a PhD from the European University Institute in Italy, and an MSc and BSc from Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. de la Porte is a leading scholar on EU governance and public policy, focusing on why, how and with which effects EU policy and governance influences welfare state reform in member states. Recent publications include the special issue ‘The future of the social investment state: politics, policies and outcomes’, Journal of European Public Policy, 2018 (guest editor with Marius Busemeyer, Julian Garritzman, and Emmanuele Pavolini); ‘Agents of institutional change in EU policy: the social investment moment’, Journal of European Public Policy, 2018 (with David Natali); ‘Labour Market Policy under Conditions of Permanent Austerity: Any Sign of Social Investment?’ Social Policy and Administration, 2017 (with Mattias Bengtsson and Kerstin Jacobsson); ‘The Court of Justice of the European Union and Fixed-term Work: Putting a Brake on Labour Market Dualisation?’, Journal of European Social Policy, 2017 (with Patrick Emmenegger); the special issue ‘The sovereign debt crisis, the EU, and welfare state reform’, Comparative European Politics, 2015 (guest editor with Elke Heins).

Title of key-note speech: “The European Union and welfare state reform following the Great Recession”

In the key note, Caroline de la Porte will discuss how recent changes in E(M)U governance in the context of the Great Recession has affected welfare state reforms in EU Member States following the sovereign debt crisis. de la Porte argues and shows that the nature of EU intervention into domestic welfare states has changed, with more focus on fiscal consolidation, as well as enhanced surveillance and enforcement. EU pressure for reform — through excessive deficit procedures (EDP) and Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) — has undoubtedly been high throughout the crisis, especially in the Eurozone countries. However, the level of EU involvement has varied, both amongst policy areas and countries, and there is still a significant degree of choice afforded by most governments when it comes to the implementation of EU policy. In many countries, the pressure of markets has been a crucial lever for reform and both domestic and EU politics are significant intervening factors in welfare state reform. The reforms undertaken during the Great Recession in areas such as labor market and pensions, represent an intensification and a speeding up of on-going reforms.

Following the negative effects of the crisis – in particular increasing inequality and poverty as well as very high rates of youth unemployment in some areas - there has been pressure to add a more social dimension to the austerity-driven policy at the beginning of the crisis. This has resulted in various initiatives, such as the EU social investment package,  the EU social pillar and attempts at adding social indicators to the European Semester and the macro-economic imbalance procedure (MIP). However, while there is an agreement to focus on social issues, the real impact of various social initiatives is weak compared to the strengthened EMU governance.

Hosted by

Institute of Sociology and Social Work
Faculty of Philosophy
Vilnius University

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