ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Panel Details
Back to Panel Details

EU Social Policy in the Post-crisis Era

European Union
Governance
Policy Analysis
Public Policy
Social Policy
Welfare State
Policy Change
Solidarity
P114
Eleanor Brooks
University of Edinburgh
George Andreou
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Thursday 11:00 - 12:40 (07/09/2017)

Building: BL27 Georg Sverdrups hus Floor: 3 Room: GS 3527

Abstract

Since the onset of the financial, sovereign debt and economic crises, the EU institutions have worked continuously to consolidate and strengthen their macroeconomic governance powers. Over the same period, and despite the social crisis facing European populations, the EU’s social priorities have slipped down the agenda. Promising goals and measures introduced via Europe 2020 have been largely side-lined and political support for EU social policy has weakened further. Moreover, the instruments of the strengthened macroeconomic governance framework, particularly the European Semester, give the EU significant new powers to stabilise the European economy, but target many aspects of social policy. Though these have the potential either to undermine or to promote the EU’s social goals, the basis for the latter seems uncertain and inclusion of social actors has been limited. Drawing parallels with the historical struggle between the economic and social ‘faces’ of the European project, this panel explores the current imbalance and the future trajectory of ‘social Europe’. Bernhard Zeilinger’s Paper introduces the contemporary context of EU social policy, analysing neoliberal tendencies in the bulwark of social Europe, the European Social Model. Zeilinger uses models of authoritarian neoliberalism to explore EU encroachment into areas of core state competence, using the reform of social and labour policies in Austria as a case in point. Three subsequent papers provide detailed case studies of the interaction between the strengthened macroeconomic governance framework and other policy instruments. George Andreou’s paper uses public policy analysis and historical institutionalism to question whether linkage between cohesion policy and the EU’s contemporary governance instruments improves the former’s effectiveness in the way intended. Ian McManus’ paper explores trends in social spending to determine whether the ‘constraining dissensus’ seen in the post-crisis era has curbed the convergence of social policies and/or affected social policy outcomes. Eleanor Brooks’ paper uses the case of health policy to illustrate the prevalence of policy dismantling in the post-crisis era, identifying cases of active and passive dismantling, and exploring the drivers of these processes. Finally, Tsarouhas and Copeland’s paper takes the discussion forward and asks whether the European Pillar of Social Rights, announced in 2015, can provide some rebalancing of EU social policy and/or act as a counter-weight to post-crisis governance. As such, it looks at the future of the imbalance between economic and social policy and the potential for reducing the harmful impacts which are identified in the first four Papers.
Title Details
The European Pillar of Social Rights: perpetuating asymmetrical governance? View Paper Details
Post-crisis Health Policy: Dismantling at the EU Level? View Paper Details
The Politics of Post-Crisis EU Social Policy View Paper Details
Neoliberal Conversion of the European Social Model View Paper Details
The EU New Economic Governance and EU Cohesion Policy: More Effectiveness and Less Solidarity? View Paper Details