A new era of European Integration? Governance of labour market and social policy since the sovereign debt crisis
- 513 Downloads
In this article we develop a typology of European Union (EU) integration to capture how, to what extent and according to which policy aims EU involvement in Member States has altered with respect to labour market and social policy and what it signifies in terms of institutional change. On this basis, we show first that new instruments – the Six-Pack, Fiscal Compact and Two-Pack – have been layered onto the existing institutional framework governing the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Furthermore, we show that the instruments strengthening budgetary discipline to improve the functioning of European Monetary Union have become more explicit in terms of policy objectives, particularly specifying new benchmarks to obtain fiscal discipline. They are also stricter in terms of surveillance and enforcement. Second, we show that there are initiatives to address and improve the social dimension of the EU – Europe 2020, the Social Investment Package and the Youth Guarantee – and that these have also emerged through a process of institutional layering. However, the aims around Europe 2020 and Social Investment continue to be based on the voluntary Open Method of Coordination, with comparatively weak surveillance and enforcement. In the current context, and in order to attain economic growth together with social cohesion and welfare, it is of utmost importance that EMU criteria should be altered to take account of social investments.
KeywordsEuropean Integration institutional change governance stability and growth pact European social policy
We would like to thank many colleagues who have commented on different drafts of this article, including Susana Borrás, Jochen Clasen, Nathalie Morel, Joakim Palme, Maria João Rodrigues and Marion Schmid-Drüner.
- Barbier, C. (2012) La prise d’autorité de la Banque centrale européenne et les dangers démocratiques de la nouvelle gouvernance économique dans l’Union européenne. In: B. de Witte, A. Heritier and A.H. Trechsel (eds.) The Euro Crisis and the State of European Democracy. Florence, Italy: European University Institute, pp. 212–241.Google Scholar
- de la Porte, C. and Heins, E. (2014) Game change in EU social policy: Towards more European Integration. In: M.J. Rodrigues and E. Xiarchogiannopoulou (eds.) The Eurozone Crisis and the Transformation of EU Governance. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- de la Porte, C. and Jacobsson, K. (2012) Social investment or recommodification? Assessing the employment policies of the EU member states. In: N. Morel, B. Palier and J. Palme (eds.) Towards a Social Investment Welfare State? Ideas, Policies and Challenges. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, pp. 117–152.Google Scholar
- de la Porte, C. and Weishaupt, T. (2013) The open method of co-ordination for social inclusion and social protection: Theoretical and empirical state-of-the-art. In: J. Garcés and I. Monsonís Paya (eds.) Sustainability and Transformation in European Social Policy. Brussels, Belgium: PIE-Peter Lang, pp. 41–60.Google Scholar
- European Central Bank (ECB) (2012) A fiscal compact for a stronger economic and monetary union, ECB Monthly Bulletin, May: pp. 79–94.Google Scholar
- European Commission (2010a) An Agenda for New skills and Jobs: A European Contribution Towards Full Employment. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2010) 682 final Strasbourg, France: European Commission.Google Scholar
- European Commission (2010b) Europe 2020. A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Brussels, Belgium: European Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/index_en.htm, accessed 20 May 2013.
- European Commission (2011) Annual Growth Survey 2012, COM (2011) 815 final.Google Scholar
- European Commission (2012a) Annual Growth Survey 2013, Brussels, Belgium: European Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/ags2013_en.pdf.
- European Commission (2012b) Report from the Commission on the Alert Mechanism Report 2013, COM(2012) 751 final.Google Scholar
- European Commission (2013a) Annual Growth Survey 2014. COM(2013) 800 final. Brussels, Belgium 13 November.Google Scholar
- European Commission (2013b) Beyond the six pack and two pack: Economic governance explained. Memo/13/318. Brussels, Belgium, 10 April, http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-318_en.htm, accessed 30 April 2013.
- European Commission (2013c) Strengthening the Social Dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union, COM(2013) 690 provisoire, Brussels, Belgium: European Commission, http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/president/news/archives/2013/10/pdf/20131002_1-emu_en.pdf, accessed on 16 October 2013.
- European Commission (2013d) Towards Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion – including implementing the European Social Fund 2014-2020 COM(2013)083 final, 20 February.Google Scholar
- European Commission (2014) Policy Roadmap for the 2014 Implementation of the Social Investment Package. Brussels, Belgium: European Commission.Google Scholar
- European Council (2011) Conclusions of the Presidency EUCO 10/11, 25 March, Annex I.Google Scholar
- European Parliament and European Council (2011) Regulation (EU) No 1173/2011 of 16 November 2011, on the effective enforcement of budgetary surveillance in the euro area, Official Journal of the European Union, L306/1-7.Google Scholar
- Hassenteufel, P., Delaye, S., Pierru, F., Robelet, M. and Serré, M. (2000) La libéralisation des systèmes de protection maladie européens. Convergence, européanisation et adaptations nationals, Politique Européenne 1 (2): 29–48.Google Scholar
- Jessoula, M. (2012) Like in a Skinner Box: External Constraints and the Reform of Retirement Eligibility Rules in Italy, Working Paper-LPF 4/2012, Milan.Google Scholar
- McNamara, K.R. (2005) Economic and monetary union: Innovation and challenges for the euro. In: H. Wallace, W. Wallace and M.A. Pollack (eds.) Policy-making in the European Union, 5th edn. Oxford: OUP, pp. 141–160.Google Scholar
- Morel, N., Palier, B. and Palme, J. (eds.) (2012) Towards a Social Investment Welfare State? Ideas, Policies and Challenges. Bristol, UK: Policy Press.Google Scholar
- Scharpf, F. (2011) Monetary Union, Fiscal Crisis and the Preemption of Democracy. Cologne: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. Discussion Paper 11/11, Cologne.Google Scholar
- Van Aken, W. and Artige, L. (2013) Reverse majority voting in comparative perspective: Implications for fiscal governance in the EU. In: B. de Witte, A. Heritier and A.H. Trechsel (eds.) The Euro Crisis and the State of European Democracy. Florence, Italy: European University Institute, pp. 129–161.Google Scholar
- Verhelst, S. (2012) Will the national ‘golden rule’ eclipse the EU fiscal norms?, http://www.voxeu.org/article/what-will- golden-rule-mean-eurozone, accessed 26 June 2014.Google Scholar