DAAD project:
Social Security Coordination and Migration

Social Security Coordination and Migration – Recent trends and developments through the comparative law lens: a German-Greek perspective (2020-2022)

EU legislation on social security coordination poses numerous challenges to the institutional structures of Germany’s and Greece’s social security systems. These challenges and possible gaps in law and in practice will be identified and explored in depth by the study group of the German-Greek project, which is financed by DAAD for a 3-year period.



A collaborative research project in the field of comparative social law and European social security law has been established between the University of Applied Sciences Fulda and the Law Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The project focusses on building bridges between Germany and Greece within the multiple dimensions of social security coordination (legal, political, administrative). The research questions will be investigated with regard to three pillars (pensioners, workforce, economically inactive persons) and in relation to multiple stages of migration.

One of the project’s aims is to connect the research results to teaching at both universities, thereby promoting learning in an international environment and fostering understanding of different perceptions on social security.

Students and young scholars will be involved in the research work as well. They will work side-by-side with senior researchers, legal practitioners, judges and public administration representatives within the scope of this collaborative project.

The Project Leader, Prof. Dr. Stamatia Devetzi (HS Fulda), will be assisted by Project Coordinator Effrosyni Bakirtzi.

Project Partner is Prof. Dr. Angelos Stergiou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki).




Friday, 4 December 2020
Social security in times of corona from a comparative law perspective

Over the past months, governments around the world have taken substantial steps to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current legal discussion raises one major question: Does national law successfully address the problems caused by this extraordinary situation? The conference aims to review both existing and new special regulations introduced in the field of social security law from a comparative law perspective in selected European countries. The legal assessment and analysis of responses of the different national social security systems to the same challenges as well as of the changes in social security protection schemes reveal both common trends and different approaches, which can contribute to the formulation of effective policies and initiatives in the long term.

One focus of our legal comparison are migrant/mobile workers and other vulnerable groups of workers. Social security law generally applies to all insured persons. But are workers in non-standard employment relationships and those in precarious working conditions covered as well? The pandemic has exerted a heavy toll on migrant workers and other groups of workers who are particularly vulnerable in terms of social protection coverage.

The conference will address the legal challenges of social protection for such workers in selected European countries and provide insights into future perspectives within the context of the European Union.



Effrosyni Bakirtzi, LL.M., Μ.Δ.Ε.

Effrosyni Bakirtzi is Coordinator of the university partnership project “Social Security Coordination and Migration”, Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda and doctoral research fellow of the interdisciplinary Joint Graduate Research School on Social Human Rights. She has worked as a legal researcher at the Department of Labour Law of the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt in Germany and at the K.U. Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven) in Belgium.

Mrs. Bakirtzi is a qualified attorney at law in Greece, having graduated from the Law School of the Faculty of Law, Economic and Political Sciences of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, with a postgraduate title of studies in international and European law from the same university and a second LL.M. course of studies at the University of Johann Wolfgang Goethe in Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

Her main research interests are international, European and comparative social security and labour law, EU internal market issues, international economic law, international private law, migration law and human rights law.

Prof. Dr. Stamatia Devetzi

Prof. Dr. Stamatia Devetzi studied law in Athens, Rome and Osnabrück, has a diploma in law from the Law Faculty of University of Athens (1994) and a PhD from Osnabrück University (1998). After working as a legal expert with the German Pensions Insurance Institution (1998-2003), in 2003 she became professor of Social Security Law in Fulda. From 2011-2016 she was delegated as professor for Public Law and European Social Security Law at Osnabrück University, Faculty of Law. She has been active in teaching and research in the fields of Social Security, European Law and Law Comparison for over 20 years. She is member of the advisory board of FNA (Research Institute of the German Pensions Insurance) and of FIS (Network for Interdisciplinary Research on Social Policy, funded by the German Ministry of Labour), and member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Social Security.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Erhag
Thomas Erhag is Professor of Public Law at the School of Business, Economics and Law at Gothenburg University (Sweden). His research focuses on the relationship between EU internal market law and national welfare law. He is also Chair of the Steering Group of the Centre for European Research at Gothenburg University (CERGU).
Prof. Dr. Éva Lukács
Prof. Dr. Leszek Mitrus

Leszek Mitrus is Professor at the Chair of Labour Law and Social Policy at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (Poland). He is the national expert of the European Labour Law Network. From September 2016 to March 2018, Mitrus was a member of the Commission for Codification of Labour Law in Poland. He has authored around 120 publications on Polish, European and international labour law and social security law. Among these publications are books on the free movement of workers, EU directives on employment contracts and the impact of European labour law on the Polish legal system. He is also the co-author of commentaries on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Polish Labour Code. 

Prof. Dr. Frans Pennings

Prof. Frans Pennings is Professor of Labour Law and Social Security Law at the Utrecht University School of Law. His research and teaching focuses on labour law and social security law, with a special interest in international standards and European law. He has produced numerous publications on these topics. Pennings was one of the editors of the European Journal of Social Security. He obtained an honorary doctorate from the Gothenburg University in 2014.

Prof. Dr. Maria Salas Porras

María Salas Porras, Doctor of Law, is Full Professor at the Department of Labour Law and Social Security, University of Malaga, Spain, where she teaches graduate classes (Masters and PhD). Her research activity, which focuses primarily on migration, gender, public employment policies, social economy, European labour law and comparative labour law, has taken her to Brazil, Switzerland, Portugal, Malta, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania.

She is currently in charge of two major projects: “Decent Work-net” together with Prof. Francisco Lozano Lares, , a network of international researchers exploring the ILO’s concept of decent work, its implementation and its regulation. The second project is a collaboration with a high level research institute headed by Prof. Antonio Márquez Prieto, and focuses on social policies, the judicial principle of fraternity and the theory of relational justice.

Seit 2017 ist Prof. Dr. Anne Walter Professorin für Migrations- und Sozialrecht am Fachbereich Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaften der Hochschule Fulda. Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen im Europäischen und Internationalen Recht. Promoviert hat Frau Walter zum Recht der Familienzusammenführung im Völkerrecht, Unionsrecht und nationalem Recht.


Prof. Dr. Cristina Sánchez-Rodas Navarro

Cristina Sánchez-Rodas Navarro is Professor at the Department of Labour and Social Security Law of the University of Sevilla (Spain). She has produced over 100 publications in several languages (https://investigacion.us.es/sisius/sis_showpub.php?idpers=2652).

Her main research focus is labour law, social security law and the coordination of social security systems. She has participated in several projects, including Buenas Prácticas Jurídico-Procesales en Derecho Laboral y Comunitario para Reducir el Gasto Social con Coste Cero (DER2012-32111); Organising training and setting up networks on the European co-ordination of social security systems (VC/2007/0188), Inmigrantes ilegales en la Unión Europea (SEJ2007-60684), Social protection in Europe: Convergence, integration, accession and the free movement of labour (SPECIAL) (HPSE-CT-2001-50004), Social security, supplementary pensions and new patterns of work and mobility (2010), Flagship initiative. Innovation Union, SEC(2010) 1161, Brussels,6.10.2010 COM(2010) 546 final. She is Vice-President of the Asociación Española de Salud y Seguridad Social and President of the Asociación de Mujeres Laboralistas de Andalucía

Ass. Prof. Dr. Ioannis Skandalis

Ioannis Skandalis completed his undergraduate studies at the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and his graduate and doctoral studies at the above University, as well as the Law School of the University of Oxford. He has been awarded with the following titles: Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Law (2013), Postgraduate Research Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Law (2009), Postgraduate degree Magister Juris (MJur) (2008) by the Faculty of Law of the University of Oxford, as well as the Postgraduate degree (L.LM) Labour Law (with distinction) (2007) and the undergraduate Degree in law (with distinction) (2006) by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

He is currently Assistant Professor of Labour Law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and teaches the following undergraduate courses: Individual Labour Law, Collective Labour Law, Exploitation Law, Seminar on Labour Law, Erasmus (Individual and Collective Labour Law) in English. He also participates to the teaching of two postgraduate courses: The dynamic of the sources of labour law and special types of labour law contracts.

His current research focus embraces the following issues: “The evolution of the notion of «subordination» in modern labour law”, “The adoption of effective mechanisms so as to safeguard the respect of working time in digital labour market”, as well as “the evaluation of the role of social clauses in transnational commercial agreements so as to safeguard the adherence to basic labour standards within global economy”.

He is the author of two monographs: «Working Time: Its delimitation to contemporary Labour Law» (P.N. Sakkoulas, Athens 2017) (in Greek). «Balancing Employer and Employee Interests: Legitimate Expectations and Proportionality under the Acquired Rights Directive» (P.N. Sakkoulas, Athens 2016).

He has also written a number of articles and contributions to collective titles, the most recent of which are the following: «Labour Law Measures Adopted in Response to COVID-19 in Greece» in E. Hondius, M. Santos Silva, A. Nicolussi, P. Salvador Coderch, C. Wendehorst and F. Zoll (eds.), Coronavirus and the Law in Europe, (Intersentia, Cambridge 2020, under publication) “Part-time work: Critical approach regarding the changes adopted through law 4635/2019”, Labor Law Bulletin 2020, p. 26-49, “La libertà sindacale in Grecia” in La libertà sindacale nel mondo: nuovi profili e vecchi problemi. In memoria di Giulio Regeni di A. Baylos Grau, L. Zoppoli (a cura di), p. 307 – 325 (written in English and translated in Italian by Giuseppe Lanzo, avvocato in Catanzaro). «Analysis of the case-law of the Court of Justice on “outsourcing”: By reference to the case C-60/17 (Somoza Hermo)», Business & Company Law 2019, p. 312 et seq.

Dr. Anna Tsetoura

Anna Tsetoura, PhD, LLM KU Leuven, BA Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is a member of the Hellenic Open University’s Associate Teaching Staff. She has lectured at various Greek universities as well as at the National School of Judges on topics including European social security law, social insurance and social institutions, retirement and pension systems, health care, civil society and social policy financing. She has also participated in national and European research programmes on improving social protection.

Her research interests focus on the protection of social rights, the sustainability of social security systems, pensions and health, comparative social law, international and European social protection policies and social justice. She has participated in many national and international conferences and has published books and articles in Greek and in international scientific journals. She has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the Journal of Social Security Law since 2019.

Prof. Dr. Anne Walter

Since 2017, Anne Walter is Professor of Migration and Social Law at the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Fulda University of Applied Sciences. Her research focuses on European and international law. Her doctoral thesis concerned the law of family reunification in international law, EU law and national law.



The conference papers will be published soon in the book “Social security in times of Corona”.


Prof. Dr. Stamatia Devetzi

Social Security Law

Director of the Master’s programme in Social Law and Social Economy

DAAD Project Leader

Social Security Coordination and Migration

Effrosyni Bakirtzi, LL.M. (Frankfurt), LL.M. (Thessaloniki)

DAAD Project Coordinator

Social Security Coordination and Migration


Fulda University of Applied Sciences
Building 22, Room 024
Leipziger Straße 123
36037 Fulda