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  • University of Groningen

    Devolution and Decentralisation in Social Security Vonk, Gijsbert; Schoukens, Paul

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    Publication date: 2019

    Link to publication in University of Groningen/UMCG research database

    Citation for published version (APA): Vonk, G., & Schoukens, P. (Eds.) (2019). Devolution and Decentralisation in Social Security: A comparative European Perspective. (Governance and Recht NILG; No. 18). The Hague: Eleven International Publishing.

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  • GOVERNANCE & RECHT 18

    Editors • Gijsbert Vonk • Paul Schoukens

    NILG

    D evolution and D

    ecentralisation in S ocial S

    ecurity • V

    onk & S

    choukens (eds.)

    18

    Devolution and Decentralisation in Social Security A European Comparative Perspective

  • GOVERNANCE & RECHT 18

    The series Governance & Recht is aimed at the general debate concerning governance in relation to law. The series provides a platform for contributions to this debate in the fields of positive law, comparative law, legal theory, philosophy of law, sociology of law, political science and public administration. This series is part of the book series published by the Netherlands Institute for Law and Governance (NILG).

    The Netherlands Institute for Law and Governance (NILG) is a joint venture between the faculties of law at the VU University Amsterdam, the University of Groningen and other research institutions to improve research in the field of Law and Governance. The NILG’s research theme is the interaction between the regulation of public and private interests in law and the way in which these interests are being regulated.

    In many countries regional and local authorities are given more powers in the field of social security. Supposedly, this is a general trend taking place throughout the developed world and beyond. In this volume the processes of devolution and decentralisation in social security are researched from a comparative European perspective, taking into account the constitutional setting and the architecture of the social security systems. The book includes thirteen country studies based on a uniform format and three overarching contributions. The greater picture that emerges is that social insurance and family allowances are still very much a national competence and are predominantly functionally decentralised to a number of specialised agencies and institutions. There are only limited exceptions. A different conclusion must be drawn when we look at social assistance and social care. In many countries the role of local authorities has gradually increased over a longer period. However, in some countries this trend is reversing, and municipal powers are being limited or even taken back by central government. Devolution and Decentralisation in Social Security shows how complex, differentiated and nationally diverse the state of devolution and decentralisation in Europe actually is. This book is of particular interest to scholars in the field of social policy and social security, constitutionalists and policy makers who are interested in local administration.

    NILG

    D evolution and D

    ecentralisation in S ocial S

    ecurity • V onk &

    S choukens (eds.)

    18

    ISBN 978-94-6236-980-1

    9 7 8 9 4 6 2 3 6 9 8 0 1

  • Devolution and Decentralisation in Social Security

  • Devolution and Decentralisation in Social Security

    A European Comparative Perspective

    Edited by

    Gijsbert Vonk Paul Schoukens

  • Published, sold and distributed by Eleven International Publishing P.O. Box 85576 2508 CG The Hague The Netherlands Tel.: +31 70 33 070 33 Fax: +31 70 33 070 30 e-mail: sales@elevenpub.nl www.elevenpub.com

    Sold and distributed in USA and Canada Independent Publishers Group 814 N. Franklin Street Chicago, IL 60610, USA Order Placement: +1 800 888 4741 Fax: +1 312 337 5985 orders@ipgbook.com www.ipgbook.com

    Eleven International Publishing is an imprint of Boom uitgevers Den Haag.

    ISBN 978-94-6236-980-1 ISBN 978-94-6094-425-3 (e-book) NUR 825

    © The Authors | Eleven International Publishing

    This publication is protected by international copyright law. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechani‐ cal, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

    Printed in the Netherlands

  • Preface

    This book is the result of an initiative taken at the annual conference of the Euro‐ pean Institute of Social Security in 2016. The purpose of this initiative was to map out the present state of devolution and decentralisation in social security in Europe. A group of social security specialists convened to write national contribu‐ tions based on one overarching framework. This has resulted in thirteen country studies. Additionally, there are two general introductory chapters dealing with key notions pertaining to this study, such as federalism, deconcentration, devolution, territorial versus functional decentralisation, etc. All chapters are preceded by a broad general overview of the background of this study and the main results.

    We are greatly indebted to all authors who voluntarily engaged in this project. We also thank the publisher and two visiting students from Down Under at the Uni‐ versity of Groningen for their support in the preparatory and editorial work. Han‐ neke and Robert: may you fare well.

    On behalf of the authors,

    Paul Schoukens and Gijsbert Vonk

  • Table of Contents

    Part I General background 11

    The state of devolution and decentralisation in social security, a comparative European analysis: an introduction to this edited volume 13

    Paul Schoukens & Gijsbert Vonk 1 Introduction 13 2 Setup and method of the research 15 3 Some reflections on the outcome of the country studies 19 4 Further research agenda: challenges for the local welfare state 21

    Federalism and devolution in social security 25 Danny Pieters

    1 Federalism, decentralisation and ‘deconcentration’ 25 2 Social security competences 28 3 Distribution of social security competences in a number of

    federal states 30

    Sharing power with employers and employees: a tried and proven form of functional decentralisation in Europe 41

    Ulrich Becker 1 Introduction 41 2 Social self-government as a specific form of functional

    decentralisation: features and appearances 42 3 On the functioning of social self-government: the case of

    Germany 48 4 Final observations: weaknesses and strengths of social self-

    government 53

  • Part II Country reports 55

    Devolution and decentralisation in social security: the situation in Austria 57

    Verena Zwinger 1 A general picture of the social security system and the

    administrative structure 57 2 The state of devolution 58 3 The state of decentralisation 62 4 The state of the debate and future perspectives 71

    Devolution and decentralisation in social security: the situation in Belgium 73

    Jessie De Weyer & Paul Schoukens 1 Belgium 73 2 Social security 78 3 Division of competences in the field of social security 82 4 Social assistance at the local level (territorial decentralisation) 85 5 Regional social security under development 86 6 The state of the debate and future perspectives 89

    Devolution and decentralisation in social security: the situation in the Czech Republic 93

    Jakub Tomšej 1 A general picture of the social security system and

    administrative structure 93 2 The state of devolution 95 3 The state of decentralisation 99 4 The state of the debate and future perspectives 105

    Devolution and decentralisation in social security: the situation in Germany 107

    Stephan Rixen 1 A general picture of the system of social security and the

    administrative organisation 107 2 The state of devolution 109 3 The state of decentralisation 114 4 The state of the debate and future perspectives 121

    8