Photo of Sonja Bekker
  • Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221, Montesquieu Building, room M 222

    5037 DE Tilburg


Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Research interests: European social policy; labour market research; EU governance; European Semester; In-work poverty; youth unemployment; labour market segmentation and the position of vulnerable groups; employment relations; flexicurity.



  • 2017-Jean Monnet professor European Social Policy and Employment Relations;
    Associate professor Department Labour Law and Social Polictics.
  • 2015-2016 Assistant professor European Social Policy
  • 2010-april 2015 Senior researcher, ReflecT research centre.
  • 2010- august 2013 Labour market expert for the SYSDEM network of the European Commission
  • 2005-2010PhD candidate at ReflecT research centre, Tilburg University. Research theme: Dealing with the flexibility-security nexus in European law and policy-making
  • 2003-2005Junior researcher at the Institute for Labour Studies (OSA), Tilburg, the Netherlands


Visiting researcher:

  • October 2019: Copenhagen Business School - inequality platform
  • 2017-2018 member scientific board IREC conference Leuven 2018
  • Oktober 2015: Milan University
  • Sept-dec 2012 WZB Social Science Research Centre in Berling
  • May-July 2007 Observatoire Social Européen, Brussels


Current courses

Click here for my courses.

PhD supervision

Eleni Balamoti - EU socioeconomic governance

Wendy Wesseling - Youth unemployment

Ásta Berglind Verheul - Family policies for non-standard families


  • Social Law
  • Social Security
  • Flexibility
  • European Politics
  • Flexicurity
  • Labour Market Policy
  • Labour Market
  • Europe
  • European Economics
  • Europe 2020
  • Labour Market Issues
  • Labour Market Segmentation

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Research Output

Digital welfare states: Boundaries and opportunities

Bekker, S., 21 May 2020

Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/siteOther research output

  • Hardening and softening of country-specific recommendations in the European Semester

    Bekker, S., 2020, In : West European Politics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Open Access
  • Key lessons for supporting youth in their steps to work

    Bekker, S., Wesseling, W., Wilthagen, T. & Balau, N., Jun 2020, 11 p.

    Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

    Open Access
  • 29 Downloads (Pure)

    Leer van vorige crisis bij bestrijding jeugdwerkloosheid

    Bekker, S., 15 Jun 2020, In : Reformatorisch dagblad. 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlePopular

    Open Access
    2 Downloads (Pure)

    Voorkom hoge jeugdwerkloosheid: Lessen uit de vorige crisis

    Bekker, S., 3 Jun 2020

    Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/siteOther research output

    Open Access


    • 12 Oral presentation
    • 3 Invited talk

    EU socio-economic governance as an exchange between the EU and member states: How open is coordination within the European Semester?

    S. Bekker (Speaker)

    24 Aug 201626 Aug 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific

    Contesting new EU socio-economic governance: Exploring legitimacy challenges by member states

    S. Bekker (Speaker)

    6 Jul 20168 Jul 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific

    Stricter or still soft? Adaptability and leeway in the European Semester

    S. Bekker (Invited speaker)

    27 Jun 201628 Jun 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talkScientific

    Evolution of the European Semester: The case of flexicurity to illustrate changing country-specific recommendations 2011-2015

    S. Bekker (Speaker)

    15 Jun 201618 Jun 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific

    De toekomst van de arbeidsverhouding

    S. Bekker (Speaker)

    21 Jan 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentationScientific


    Jongeren in een veerkrachtige samenleving

    Bekker, S., Wilthagen, T. & Verheul, A.


    Project: Research project

    Press / Media

    Jeugdwerkloosheid: ‘Geef sociaal werkers meer armslag’

    Sonja Bekker


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Prizes / Recognition

  • Jean Monnet Chair

    Bekker, Sonja (Recipient), Aug 2017

    Prize: Other marks of recognition