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EU Employment Policy and Social Citizenship since the Great Recession: Stratifying, Universalizing or Capacitating?

European Politics
European Union
Social Policy
EU4
Nathalie Brack
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Jonathan Zeitlin
University of Amsterdam

Thursday 15:00 - 16:30 (15/12/2022)


Abstract

Speakers: Robin Huguenot-Noël, Francesco Corti Under which conditions do EU job growth policies also serve social progress? Social Europe scholars traditionally assess the ‘social dimension’ of EU employment strategies by looking at the content of recommendations issued by the Commission in its agenda-setting function. The recent adoption of the SURE programme and Next Generation EU yet drew light to another dimension of EU action in employment policy: its role as a direct provider of social rights. This article aims to explore this role by systematically assessing the extent to which the EU employment agenda helped advance social citizenship by granting EU citizens new power resources and steering domestic policy outputs by means of EU funds. After reviewing scholarly contributions on the relationship between employment and equality objectives in section 2, we expose, in section 3, our analytical frameworks concerned with the social citizenship conduciveness of EU employment policy. In section 4, we expose our two-step methodological approach evaluating, first, the social citizenship intensity of EU employment policy (2001-2021) and, second, its redistributive dimension since the adoption of the Social Pillar (2018-2021). To do this, we build on three datasets comprised of 110 EU measures and 532 judgements by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 11 employment-oriented social policy areas from 2001 to 2021. After presenting our findings in section 5, we conclude, in section 6, by identifying which reforms could help EU institutions provide a more supportive environment for inclusive employment growth.