Social Policy and Local Government: the example of Community Centers

Papoulia Dimitra-Christina

Social Policy in Greece has always been deficient in providing substantial social protection and a safety net to citizens against poverty and social risk management. On the contrary, Local Government in Greece has been an institution with deep historical roots and a long history with a focus on the common and collective issues of local communities and not on the support of individualized social problems and issues. Only in recent years have Social Policy and Local Government met through legislative reforms and the decentralization of the management and operation of many services in the social sector. The recent economic crisis has led to significant changes in both areas and has

intensified the need to organize social protection services at the local level, close to the citizens who need them.

The Community Centers were created at the height of the economic crisis in our country with Law 4368/2016 (AD 21), to support the implementation of social protection policies by the Local Government Organizations of the First Degree. They are structures complementary to the existing social services of the Municipalities, are supervised by

them in their operation and aim at the development of a local reference point for the reception, service and connection of the citizens with all the Social Programs and Social Solidarity Services, implemented in the area of operation of the Center Community. They are co-financed structures and their main function is the implementation of social protection policies against poverty through the inclusion of citizens in programs of allowance and material assistance, integration into the labor market and housing support.

Thesis Committee Members
Academic Year
2019 - 2020