EUGenDem virtual workshop: The politics of EU social policy in the European Commission and the European Parliament

This hybrid workshop shed light on the current political struggles related to EU social policy and strategies for political agreements in this contested field.

The first paper discussed the Juncker Commission’s strategy to revitalize the legislative aspects of social Europe. Thanks to its strategy of being a ‘politicising bricoleur’ the Commission had some success. Yet continued obstacles resulted in reforms being focused on revisions to relatively non-contentious policies rather than new legislative agreements. The second paper took a more detailed look at the role of the European Parliament in the new momentum for EU social legislation during the Juncker and von der Leyen Commissions. It addressed the party political conflicts and lines of consensus around three directives: work-life balance, minimum wage and pay transparency. Together, the papers raise questions about some of the obstacles and possibilities for a stronger and more progressive EU social policy.

The workshop was organized around the visit of Dr Paul Copeland to Tampere University and EUGenDem. For more information about Dr Copeland’s work, check the ‘Guest and visiting researchers’ section on the About us page.

Chair: Barbara Gaweda (Tampere University, Finland)


Paul Copeland (Queen Mary University of London, UK): The Juncker Commission as a politicising bricoleur and the renewed momentum in Social Europe

Anna Elomäki (Tampere University, Finland): Politics of EU social politics in the European Parliament: work-life balance, minimum pay, and pay transparency (paper co-authored with Paul Copeland and Barbara Gaweda)

Discussant: Beryl Philine ter Haar (University of Warsaw, Poland)

Time: September 13th 2022, 13.00 – 14.30 EEST (12.00 -13.30 CEST)

The full program of the EUGenDem workshop series can be found here.

In case of questions about the workshop, you can contact Barbara Gaweda (