The EU: Big on Big Things and Smaller on Smaller Things


  • Bilge Filiz PhD, Ankara University, Turkey


Social policy, Welfare regime, European integration, Modernization, Empowerment of Individuals, Activation.


Welfare regime is composed of the social and economic policies that are adopted to protect and promote the economic and social well-being of its citizens. While neoliberal principles extend through globalization, welfare regimes have been suffering from this process since policies are developed with the emphasis on individual empowerment rather than collectively shared welfare. While spending a great deal of efforts not to lose its competitiveness, the European Union tries to create an alternative for the structure of its social policies. However, this attempt remains highly vulnerable due to the impact of capitalist economic system on development of EU social policy/model since the beginning of the EU integration process. This article analyzes the roots of underdeveloped social policy in EU history at three stages: explanation of underdevelopment of social Europe from several theoretical paradigms; examination of deep-rooted problems of European social policy within the dynamics of European integration; elaboration of EU modernization process; and clarification of this deficiency with the example of European Social Model deemed as a politically constructed project.