The introductory chapter provides an overview of the great social challenge that the EU currently faces. The editors raise the question of what can be done to bridge the prosperity gap in Europe. First, they briefly describe the background: the social dimension of European cooperation and its historical development. Second, they identify the new social challenges that the Union faces in the wake of the Great Recession, the ongoing refugee crisis, and the Brexit referendum. Third, an analytical point of departure for examining these challenges is presented, consisting of an interdisciplinary approach that pinpoints a number of overarching problems and possibilities associated with the social dimension of European integration. Fourth and finally, the book’s chapters are introduced, and their key policy recommendations are summarized. The chapter concludes with the argument that much of the EU’s future relevance and ability to stay together depends on its capacity to counteract the prosperity gap and reverse the negative trend that emerged during the crisis.
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Ulf Bernitz, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
Edited by Ulf Bernitz, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson
Harri Kalimo and Max S. Jansson
Edited by Harri Kalimo and Max S. Jansson
This book seeks to contribute to the debate about the EU’s economic crisis by analysing how it affected the development of economic law in the Union during the Barroso II Commission. The areas of EU economic law analysed in this book cover the EMU and the internal market, and particular attention is paid to the fields of public procurement, taxation and intellectual property rights. As cornerstones to Europe 2020 strategy, the latter three fields seem crucial to finding a way out of the crisis. The developments in the noted fields of law are scrutinized from four cross-cutting perspectives: harmonization, institutions, non-economic values and international actions. Kalimo and Jansson find the variances in how the areas of economic law have developed noteworthy, because the core of the crisis has gradually extended towards the real economy; growth, competitiveness and investments. The book’s conclusion is that during the crisis the attention of the Barroso Commission has focused too narrowly on selected urgent problems, failing to spark off bold policy endeavours and to break inter-institutional blockades and interest captures on fundamental longer-term issues. An important part of the challenge remains the appropriate integration of social considerations into the measures. So while certainly not wasted, the crisis has not been optimally exploited for the development of EU economic law, either.