| More

The EU Institutional Framework and the Social Dimension Policies: Barriers, Challenges and Prospects

Views: 151 Downloads: 91
Stylianos Ioannis Tzagkarakis (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9393-8991)
Stylianos Ioannis Tzagkarakis


The discussion about the role and the forces around the European social dimension is vast, especially when it comes to the multidimensional challenges that exist and the ways they should be addressed. Firstly, it should be noted that the European Union has been constructed upon a minimalist direct involvement in the field of social policy as it is rather considered a matter of the national welfare states (Leibfried, 2015). This does not mean that there was not central or indirect impact on social policy during the decades of the Europeanization process but that the main consequences have been formed indirectly, thus making them also difficult to be measured. At the same time, the European social dimension is a field of policy which has been impacted by the interrelation between politics, law and markets as long as it is formed under the competition between social policy intervention towards market correction and reinforcement of free movement. Specific tools have been created in order to force convergence also in the Europe 2020 framework, but still more effort is necessary in order to force convergence on the social pillar. This paper examines the current challenges in the European Union (EU) social dimension in order to stress the necessity for alternatives towards enhancing European social dimension.

Λέξεις κλειδιά

European social dimension; European Union Institutions; welfare state; social policy

Πλήρες Κείμενο:

PDF (English)


Andreotti, A. & Mingione, E. (2016). Local welfare systems in Europe and the Economic Crisis. European Urban and Regional Studies, 23(3): 252-266.

Armstrong, K. A. (2012). EU social policy and the governance architecture of Europe 2020. Transfer, 18(3): 285–300.

Beauddonet, L. (2015). A threatening horizon: the impact of the welfare state on support for Europe. Journal of Common Market Studies, 53(3): 457-475.

Daly, M. (2012). Paradigms in EU social policy: A critical account of Europe 2020. Transfer, 18(3): 273-284.

De Haan, J., Lundstrom, S., Sturm, J. E. (2006). Market-Oriented Institutions and Policies and Economic Growth: A Critical Survey. Journal of Economic Surveys, 20(2): 157-191.

Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity.

Esping-Andersen, G. (1996). Welfare States in Transition: National Adaptation in Global Economies. London: Sage.

Falkner, G. (2010). The EU’s Social Dimension. In: Cini, M. (ed.), European Union Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 276-290.

Fenger, H.J.M. (2007). Welfare regimes in Central and Eastern Europe: Incorporating post-communist countries in a welfare regime typology. Contemporary Issues and Ideas in Social Sciences, 3(2): 1–30.

Ferragina, E., Seeleib-Kaiser, M. and Spreckelsen, T. (2015). The Four Worlds of ’Welfare Reality’ – Social Risks and Outcomes in Europe. Social Policy and Society, 14 (02): 287-307.

Ferrera, M. (1996). The ‘Southern model’ of welfare in Europe. Journal of European Social Policy, 6 (1): 17-37.

Ferrera, M. (2005). The Boundaries of Welfare: European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gallie, D. (2009). Institutional Regimes and Employee Influence at Work: A European Comparison. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2 (3): 379-393.

Hemerijck, A. (2012). Changing Welfare States. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hall, P. A. (1999). The Political Economy of Europe in an Era of Interdependence. In: Kitschelt, H., Lange, P., Marks, G. and Stephens, J. (eds.), Continuity and Change in Contemporary Capitalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 135–163.

Hemerijck, A. (2006). Recalibrating Europe’s Semi-Sovereign Welfare States. Berlin: Social Science Research Center.

Kratochvíl, P. & Sychra, Z. (2019). The end of democracy in the EU? The Eurozone crisis and the EU’s democratic deficit. Journal of European Integration, 41(2): 169-185.

Kulin, J. & Mueleman, B. (2015). Human Values and Welfare State Support in Europe: An East–West Divide? European Sociological Review, 31 (4): 418–432.

Leibfried, S. & Obinger, H. (2008). Nationale Sozialstaaten in der Europäischen Union. In: Höpner, M. and Schäfer, A. (eds.), Die politische Ökonomie der europäischen Integration. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, pp. 335–365.

Leibfried, S. & Pierson, P. (2000). Social Policy: Left to Courts and Markets? In: Wallace, H. & Wallace, W. (eds.), Policy-making in the European Union, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 267-292.

Leibfried, S. (2015). Social Policy: Left to the Judges and the Markets? In: Wallace H., Pollack, M. A. & Young, A. R. (eds.), Policy-Making in the European Union (7th ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 263-292.

Pierson, P. & Leibfried, S. (1995). The Dynamics of Social Policy Integration. In: Leibfried, S. & Pierson, P. (eds.), European Social Policy: Between Fragmentation and Integration, Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, pp. 432–465.

Pierson, P. (2001). Coping with permanent austerity: welfare state restructuring in affluent democracies. In: Pierson, P. (ed.), The New Politics of the Welfare State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 411–55.

Rhodes, M. (1996). Southern European Welfare States: Between Crisis and Reform. London: Frank Cass.

Rhodes, M. (1998). Defending the Social Contract. The EU between global constraints and domestic imperatives. In: Hine, D. & Kassim, H. (eds.), Beyond the Market. The EU and National Social Policy. London: Routledge, pp. 36-59.

Titmuss, R. (1968). Commitment to Welfare. London: George Allen & Unwin.

Titmuss, R. (1974). Social Policy: An Introduction. New York: Pantheon.

Vandenbroucke, F., Hemerijck, A. and Palier, B. (2011). The EU Needs a Social Investment Pact. OSE Paper Series, Opinion Paper No. 5, May. Brussels: L’ Observatoire social europeen.