Research Handbook on European Social Security Law
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Research Handbook on European Social Security Law

Edited by Frans Pennings and Gijsbert Vonk

This Handbook encompasses four dimensions of European social security law: social security as a human right, standard setting in social security, the protection of mobile persons and migrants and the global context of European social security law. It pays attention to both EU law and to various instruments of the Council of Europe. In 25 chapters prominent experts analyse contemporary debates, discuss new challenges and point out further lines of research. Through this exploration, the Handbook provides a source of inspiration for the development of this special field of law.
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Chapter 9: The coordinated governance of EU social security policy: Will there ever be enough?

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.

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