Den danske velfærdsstat i Den Europæiske Union: En analyse af principielle og reelle problemer for en universel velfærdsmodel i en åben union med fri bevægelighed

Marie Møller Simonsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The Danish welfare state is a unique model and differentiates from the welfares states in other member countries. It is a universal welfare model which is financed through taxes, and the redistribution is therefore a heavy obligation on the state. A tax financed universal welfare state, like the Danish welfare state, is bound to be challenged by the Single European Market and the free movement of workers. The Danish welfare state requires a social contract between citizen and state, and it is anticipated that citizens live their whole lives in Denmark each and everyone contributing to society. For the universal welfare model to work it is necessary, that as many citizens as possible work and only few live on public benefits. It is beneficial for the welfare state that citizens from all over Europe can live and work in Denmark and contribute to the welfare society. However, due to regulation 883/04 which lays down the principles of social security rights for persons moving within the European Union, the welfare system is challenged, when foreign workers can demand welfare benefits on equal terms.
When looking at social security benefit and child benefit in Denmark, benefits that can be achieved without any accrual principle, it ought to show whether there is a financial pressure on the Danish welfare society. The Danish child benefit is not causing any financial problems to the welfare state, and the proposed indexing of the Danish child benefit is a matter of principle rather than a financial matter to the welfare state. Furthermore, social security benefits do not show any larger financial problems with EU citizens, as there are no statistics that distinguish EU citizens from Danish citizens. But employees in three different municipalities argue that integration is a problem due to lacking language proficiency and lack of education.
Looking at the overall picture of the Danish welfare state in the European Union, it is obvious that it is very beneficial for the Danish society to be part of the European Union. Most of the EU citizens living in Denmark during their working age contribute a lot more to the welfare state than they receive from it. The pressure on the Danish welfare state is not only a matter of financial impact, it is also a matter of sociology and transparency within in the European Union. The sociological aspect is a matter of different welfare state models within the European Union and the strong solidarity there is within the universal model. Furthermore, it is a matter of different systems of democracy and lack of understanding for one another. The different democracy models lead to different understanding of the court of justice, which plays different roles in Denmark and in the EU respectively.
All these aspects of welfare states, democracy, and role of the court of justice play a large role in the opinions on EU and the pressure it puts on the Danish welfare state. A final aspect is the transparency within in the EU, where the media play a large role in communicating information to the citizens, and therefore they also have great influence on which information is passed on and how it is passed on. Media can thereby be an important factor in the attitude to the EU that people adopt.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages107