GASPP 6 Seminar

In association with the South East European Research Centre (SEERC), City College, Thessaloniki, Greece

City College, Thessaloniki, Greece, September 18-20 2003

The sixth international GASPP seminar was held in conjunction with the South East European Research Centre (SEERC) based at City Liberal College, Thessaloniki, Greece between September 18th and 20th 2003. SEERC is a new Centre managed jointly by the University of Sheffield and City College.

Globalisation, Regionalisation and the Making of
Social Policy in South-Eastern Europe

1. The countries of South-Eastern Europe are extremely diverse, with significant differences in terms of their development. They have very different historical legacies and traditions of social welfare to ensure the well-being of all of their citizens. In parts of the region which have experienced violent conflict and transition, considerable social disintegration has occurred. In the context of increasing globalisation, many of the countries face pressures to decrease their social expenditures and to target scarce resources on those most in need. At the same time, all of the countries of the region aspire to a future within the European Union marked by an emphasis on social cohesion and social rights.

2. The challenges facing the region in terms of social policy choices, and the role of a range of global, regional and international organisations in influencing these choices, was the topic of a two-day seminar held at the South-East European Research Centre (SEERC), City College, in Thessaloniki from 19-20 September 2003. The seminar was a collaboration between SEERC and the Globalism and Social Policy Programme (GASPP), both of which are joint ventures involving the University of Sheffield, UK. The seminar brought together 28 researchers, policy makers and practitioners from the region and from international organisations. In addition to presentations on particular countries, agencies, and themes, the seminar explored elements of an action research agenda, through the establishment of various networks, to influence the social policy and social development future for the countries and peoples of South-Eastern Europe.

3. A number of papers focused on the role of various international actors in social policy in SEE, through a general overview (Deacon and Stubbs), a focus on the strengths and weaknesses of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (Redmond), on international advice and labour market institutions (Arandarenko), and on a comparative study of the influence of the European Union (Gerovska). A series of presentations focused on the policies, programmes and lessons learnt by a range of international actors including the Social Development Initiative of the World Bank (Lytle), the European Agency for Reconstruction (Atkins), the UK Department for International Development (Golemac Powell), the Non-Governmental Organisation CARE International (Wein), and on Italy’s role in social development in SEE (Modica). A number of country case studies focused on key issues in social policy, social development and welfare in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Papic, Syrri), Croatia (Zrinscak), Greece (Petmesidou), Romania (Pupazescu), and Turkey (Yakut).

4. The conference made a strong call for social issues and social policy to be higher up the agenda in terms of the integration of the countries of the Western Balkans into the European Union. In addition, it supported the strengthening of research, analysis, policy and practice on welfare within the region. SEERC will continue to play a role in this, through the work of senior researchers and doctoral students: through the compilation of data; and through enagement in networks. The conference papers are expected to be published as an edited volume, and some of the papers will be published in the journal Global Social Policy.

Contact: Dr David A. Stone SEERC and Professor Bob Deacon, GASPP.

22 September 2003

Seminar Programme

Thursday September 18th


Friday September 19th

9.30. Registration at SEERC.

10.00-13.00 Morning Session

  • Panel 1: Researching and Analysing Transnational and Regional Influences on Country Level Social Policy.

This panel of presentations will provide an overview of aspects of social policy and social development in South-Eastern Europe. It will explore theoretical and methodological advances that are taking place in the study and analysis of international influences upon social policy. It will address ways of understanding multi-sited and multi-actor policy processes in conditions of globalisation and regionalisation. It will also explore the links between research evidence and policy advice and choices.

Chair: David Stone, Director SEERC.

Bob Deacon and Paul Stubbs, GASPP, University of Sheffield, UK and SEERC, Thessaloniki
“The Making of Social Policy in South-Eastern Europe: theories, methods, politics”

Mihail Arandarenko, University of Belgrade and G17 Institute, Serbia and Montenegro
“International Advice and Labour Market Institutions in SEE”

Gerry Redmond, UNICEF-ICDC
“Poverty Reduction Strategies and Well-Being in Albania and the Former Yugoslavia”

Despina Syrri. Research Fellow, SEERC.
“Mapping International Actors and Social Interventions in South Eastern Europe”

(Coffee break at 11.30)


13.00 -15.00 Lunch in town

15.00-18.00 Afternoon Session

  • PANEL 2: International Actors and Social Policy in the SEE Region

This panel of presentations will bring together a number of contributions from representatives of international and regional actors who are having a key influence on the making of social policy in the region, and will address lessons learnt, priorities and challenges.

Chair Ellen Rosskam ILO-SEES.

Michal Rutkowski, The World Bank, Washington
“Priorities in Social Protection in South Eastern Europe.”

Hughes Feltesse: DG Employment and Social Affairs. Unit on Social Protection and Social Integration.
“The European Union and Social Policy in the Western Balkans Integration Process”

[Speaker to be confirmed]
“Improving Social Policy in South-Eastern Europe: the initiative for social cohesion of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.”

Paula F. Lytle, The World Bank
“The Social Development Initiative for SEE.”

(Coffee Break at 16.30)

Astrid Wein, CARE Austria
“CARE’s role in Social Policy projects and programmes in South-Eastern Europe.”

Ana-maria Golemac Powell, Consultant, UKDFID.
“UK’s DFID Work on Social Policy in SEE.”

Milena Modica, CRAS-Italia, Italy.
“Italy’s role in Social Development in Albania and the Western Balkans.”

20.30. Seminar Dinner.

Saturday September 20th

10.00 -14.00 Morning Sessions

  • PANEL 3: International Agencies and Social Policy in South-Eastern Europe: Country Case Studies

This panel of presentations will bring together case studies from particular countries of the region, focusing on general and specific aspects of social policy reform. A number of the papers will focus explicitly on the role of diverse international actors in the making of social policy in the countries concerned.

Chair: Akbar Zaidi, Pakistan.

10.00 to 11.30 First session

Maria Petmesidou, University of Thrace, Greece
“Greek welfare policy as a model for social policy for the region?”

Burcu Yakut, University of Bogazici, Turkey
“International Actors and the Welfare Regime in Turkey.”

Zarko Papic, IBHI, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
“The Bosnian Case: Lessons not learnt for South-Eastern Europe.”


12.00 -14.00 Second session

Maja Gerovska, University of Skopje, FYR of Macedonia
“The Europeanisation of Social Policies: national adaptations in South-Eastern Europe.”

Sinisa Zrinscak, University of Zagreb, Croatia
“Croatian Social Policy and the EU.”

Ruxandra Pupazescu, Central European University, Budapest
“Romanian Social Protection and EU Accession.”

14.00 – 16.00 Lunch in town.

16.00-17.30 Afternoon Session

  • International Agencies and Social Policy in South-Eastern Europe: a research agenda

This open panel will seek to sketch out a number of key research themes for the study of the making of social policy in SEE and the role of international actors. Taking into account existing research, contributors are encouraged to suggest areas for future research and to explore links between research and policy development in the region.

Chair. Nick Manning. University of Nottingham. U.K

Introduction: Libby Cooper, Croatia.

17.30  End of Seminar

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