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Paul Copeland and Beryl ter Haar

In this contribution EU soft governance in the broader field of social security is addressed. Central is EU governance by the Open Method of Coordination and to what extent this method interacts with other governance instruments, including recommendations, resolutions and EU funds. After mapping the involved governance instruments, the chapter assesses the legal integration capacity of the main instruments involved and to what extent these instruments interact with each other. The conclusion is that although the integration capacity of the individual instruments is relatively weak, their interaction shows a coordination of governance mechanisms, creating a more coherent and consistent policy, which results in a potentially stronger integration capacity of the whole. At the same time, when this is positioned back within the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Semester, the authors come to the conclusion that EU governance of social security remains considerably weak and therefore remains subordinated to economic and financial governance.