Europeanization, Enlargement and Social Policy in Central and Eastern Europe

Cahier Européen No. 01/2007

22 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2008 Last revised: 1 Mar 2019

Date Written: July 1, 2007


This paper aims at exploring the relationship between Europeanization, Enlargement and social policy developments in Central and Eastern Europe. In particular, it examines the importance of ideas, interests and institutions in the making of contemporary public and social policies, as well as focusing on other mechanisms that may lead to institutional change. Here, the goodness of fit thesis developed by Börzel and Risse (2000) is analyzed, and other elements that may lead to EU convergence are also examined. These elements are identified in the strategic negotiations of actors, in policy learning processes, in social policy diffusion of ideas and in the emergence of new forms of transnational solidarity. Contrary to common assumptions that address the role of EU institutions as being minimal in the formation of post-communist social policy, it is argued that the European Union did play a crucial role in the process of systemic transformation by helping the introduction of new social policy ideas, interests and institutions.

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, social policy, welfare state, enlargement, Europeanization

JEL Classification: P26, P30, P51, O10, N30, J18, D61, D31

Suggested Citation

Cerami, Alfio, Europeanization, Enlargement and Social Policy in Central and Eastern Europe (July 1, 2007). Cahier Européen No. 01/2007, Available at SSRN: or

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