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 21: Social security law instruments of the next generation: European social security law as a source of inspiration?

Danny Pieters and Paul Schoukens


The purpose of this chapter is to critically asses the model function of the European instruments in international and European social security law. This will be done primarily by listing on the basis of existing literature the major flaws of these instruments. This critical analysis will be followed by a reflective overview of ‘alternative’ social security arrangements that did not fit well with the traditional international social security instruments. On the basis of this double analysis we examine the possibility of developing a new generation of social security instruments that goes beyond a mere European approach towards social security. At the same time we explore whether such new-generation instruments could not only become more global in their approach, but could also increase in legal effectiveness, considering the rather weak binding effect of the current instruments as one of their major weaknesses. For the purpose of this chapter we limit ourselves to the standard-setting instruments, leaving aside the social security coordination instruments as well as the equal treatment instruments and other instruments of principle.

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