Political scientist, Philosopher
University of Žilina, Slovakia
Research fellow

Interests : Democracy Social Europe
Countries : Slovakia

Jakub Švec is a young researcher. Jakub’s current occupation is the head of the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Žilina, Slovakia. He completed his bachelor's and master's studies at the Catholic University in Ružomberok (2012-2017), Slovakia, in the field of political science, and his doctoral studies at the Faculty of Arts of the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica (2017-2020), Slovakia, in the field of systematic philosophy. Jakub participated on various study and research stays abroad: Institute for Social and European Studies in Kőszeg, Hungary (2014), Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland (2016-2017), Institute of Advanced Studies in Kőszeg, Hungary (2016-2017), University of Ostrava, Czech Republic (2018), University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland (2019). Jakub’s scientific research is focused on social and political philosophy, especially aimed to issues of social justice, equality and freedom, mostly in the context of early liberalism. He is the author of several scientific articles in the Web of Science and Scopus databases as well as the scientific monograph "In the Captivity of Freedom - The Need for a Philosophical Reinterpretation of Freedom." As a member of the working group "Social Europe" within the FEPS Young Academics Network, he tries to present in the output publication the ideological and value background of the origin, development, and current problems of the European left, which according to him must return to its original idea. The current intention in scientific activity is to defend two kinds of freedom.

Three ideas for a stronger Social Europe in a post-COVID-19 recovery

Working Groups
Social Europe

Through its eclectic 20 principles, the European Pillar of Social Rights is an opportunity to break silos and look at social development as the network of challenges that it truly is.

Departing from the rather long history of European social rights, the implementation of the EPSR must follow a holistic approach, identifying synergies with discussions it already hints at in its 20 principles.

In order to contribute to the identification of such synergies, this paper attempts to shed light on three transversal issues that national governments and the European Commission must bear in mind when implementing the EPSR: civil rights; labour relations; and gender equality. The analysis departs from the setting of the current model of welfare state in post-World War II Europe and it ends with the Porto Summit 2021, reflecting on the documents approved and what they can mean for a post-COVID-19 Social Europe.

Read the Paper:
Three ideas for a stronger Social Europe in a post- Covid 19 recovery

Political Mentor: YES Vice President and S&D MEP Alicia Homs
Academic Mentor: Matjaz Nahtigal, Associate professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana


PhD candidate University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava

Interests : Social Europe
Countries : Hungary Slovakia

Lukáš Siegel holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava and political science from Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts. His primary focus is on different ethical theories, the concept of human rights, issues of discrimination, stigma, and prejudices. He recently earned PhD in philosophy focusing on discrimination against people with disabilities with a special interest in different models of disability.

The European Basic Income

Working Groups
European Basic Income

Across the political spectrum, there is widespread agreement that the European Union (EU) needs a palpable social dimension. In this FEPS YAN policy study, the authors provide a research-driven policy proposal on how this social dimension can be achieved in the light of the diversity of national welfare systems in the EU.

They argue that a Universal Basic Income (UBI) could be a conceptually appealing policy to be implemented at EU level, complementing national welfare states. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the policy is receiving unprecedented and ever-increasing attention, and enjoys widespread public popularity, but is viewed with scepticism by major political parties.

This paper is a unified source of information for progressive policymakers, advocates, consultants, and researchers who are interested in (a) how a European UBI could be concretely designed and (b) the reasoning and justifications behind its concrete design decisions. In order to formulate a policy proposal that could potentially foster cross- partisan compromises and move public policy preferences and political reality closer together, the authors conducted a comprehensive review of historical and contemporary UBI debates, gathered the key arguments presented in academic, popular, political, and organisational sources, and reflected on them from logical, normative, and empirical perspectives.

Based on the most plausible arguments for and against a UBI, they designed a concrete policy proposal for a UBI at the EU level that responds to broadly progressive ideals from different partisan backgrounds. The result is an ambitious yet feasible proposal that bridges political divides and, if implemented, would be the most substantial leap for Social Europe yet.

Read the paper:
The European Basic Income

Political Mentor: S&D MEP Agnes Jongerius
Academic Mentor: Lorena Lombardozzi, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the Open University.