Prostitution is a standard case of morality politics (MP), defined as a particular type of politics that engages issues closely related to religious and/or moral values, giving way to strong and uncompromising value conflicts in both societal and political spheres. This kind of issues have increasingly become a European policy matter due to their transnational nature and the tensions they create between different legal principles. Our hypothesis is that this leads to the emergence of a specific type of European morality politics (EMP) reflecting the particular constraints of the policymaking of the European Union (EU). The purpose of this article is to understand to which extent the rise of prostitution on the EU agenda alters usual patterns of MP to shape a distinctive type of EMP. Our findings suggest that prostitution characterizes EMP albeit with a significant difference, namely the challenge to regulatory inertia through the successful mobilisation of European values by some policy entrepreneurs to promote a neo-abolitionist approach.
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This research was supported by Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles: [Grant ARC (Action Recherche Concertée)], conceded to François Foret.
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Foret, F., Rubio Grundell, L. European Morality Politics in the European Union: The Case of Prostitution. Sexuality & Culture 24, 1798–1814 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-020-09720-w