Game change in EU and social policy: Towards more European integration

Caroline de la Porte, Elke Heins

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

Abstract / Description of output

Welfare states have been under pressure during recent decades, in the wake of challenges such as ageing populations and changing family patterns. To support member states in their welfare and labour market reforms in the context of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the European Union (EU) developed soft policy advice and comparative knowledge through various open methods of coordination (OMC). While there is dispute about the OMCs’ impact (de la Porte and Pochet 2012), it is an ideational tool that is not intrusive, since member states (MS) can voluntarily use ideas or knowledge emanating from the EU. In the context of the ongoing global financial crisis and the sovereign debt crisis which followed in Europe, EU actors have sought to increase coherence between economic and fiscal policies in an attempt to restore financial stability in the Eurozone. This involves altered and new instruments for social and labour market policy governance being determined almost entirely by economically oriented actors. Also the socially oriented actors are considering new ideas around social and labour market policy coordination, but through less powerful instruments. Thus far, no systematic comparison has been made of these instruments, which is necessary in view of their potential impact on welfare states.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Eurozone Crisis and the Transformation of EU Governance
Subtitle of host publicationInternal and External Implications
EditorsMaria João Rodrigues, Eleni Xiarchogiannopoulou
Place of PublicationFarnham
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315558462
ISBN (Print)9781472433107, 9781472433077
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2014

Publication series

NameGlobalisation, Europe, Multilateralism

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • European Union
  • social policy
  • sovereign debt crisis
  • labour market policy
  • Open Method of Coordination


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