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Combating Poverty in Europe

Combating Poverty in Europe

Active Inclusion in a Multi-Level and Multi-Actor Context

Edited by Rune Halvorsen and Bjørn Hvinden

Discovering methods to combat poverty and social exclusion has now become a major political challenge in Europe. This book offers an original and timely analysis of how actors at the European, national and subnational levels meet this challenge. Combining perspectives on multilevel and network coordination, the editors discuss to what extent actors join forces in these efforts and identify the factors limiting the coordination achieved in practice. The book builds on a European study comparing Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

Chapter 7: Killing, domesticating or feeding the snake: the implementation of the Europe 2020 anti-poverty component at the national level

Matteo Jessoula

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy, welfare states


This chapter analyses the implementation of the Europe 2020 anti-poverty strategy in five countries: Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK. As argued in Chapter 4, a social-friendly institutional re-articulation of the novel Europeanized space of interaction requires the construction of an EU ‘social space’ to ‘nest’ national welfare states effectively within the overall spatial architecture of the EU (Ferrera, 2009). This is necessarily a gradual and complex process since it involves a large number of institutional, political and social actors in a multi-level framework. Moreover, potential tensions may arise along three main dimensions: (1) at the EU level, between economic and social objectives; (2) between supranational and national institutions, with particular reference to the potential conflict between member states’ social sovereignty/discretion and the EU’s regulations; and (3) among member states regarding the size and mechanisms of cross-national transfers – that is, ‘rich’ versus ‘poor’ countries.

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