Edited by Patricia Kennett and Noemi Lendvai-Bainton
Chapter 6: The dynamics of European Union social policy
This chapter presents an overview of some of the key obstacles to the realization of a ‘Social Europe’ policy agenda that has long been the declared goal of European social democrats within the institutions of the European Union. It argues that there are a number of institutional, political and social obstacles which impede the ‘Social Europe’ agenda and which have been identified, but that only a critical realist approach has thus far been able to adequately integrate these obstacles into a convincing explanation for the absence of substantive ‘Social Europe’ policy output. The chapter highlights the impact of these obstacles through a discussion of the development of EU social policy during the course of the post-2008 global and European economic crises.
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