After the European elections and the first wave of Covid-19: Prospects for EU social policymaking

Karen M. Anderson, Elke Heins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter analyses whether the election of a new European Parliament in 2019 and the appointment of the von der Leyen Commission imply a significant turn regarding Social Europe, not least in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. As we will show, the new Commission’s social and employment agenda builds partly on key initiatives introduced under the previous Commission such as the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), but also deviates in important respects from the course charted by the Juncker Commission. Most importantly, climate change moved centre stage in 2019, not least due to the success of Green parties in the European Parliament elections, but also reflecting generational change towards widespread acceptance of the existence of a climate emergency. This new focus on climate – and also digitalisation – has important implications for the European social dimension as it indicates a broader conception of social protection and a potential opening for the reinvigoration of EU involvement in the social field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial policy in the European Union
Subtitle of host publicationState of Play 2020
Editors Bart Vanhercke, Slavina Spasova, Boris Fronteddu
Place of PublicationBrussels
PublisherEuropean Trade Union Institute
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9782874525889
ISBN (Print)9782874525872
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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