Prospects for EU Citizenship
Edited by Sandra Seubert, Marcel Hoogenboom, Trudie Knijn, Sybe de Vries and Frans van Waarden
Chapter 8: Citizenship, Europe and social rights
Social rights in the EU continue to be primarily determined by decisions at the nation-state level. Despite the discourse of a European Social Model, Member States pursue very different approaches to social rights, leading to highly divergent outcomes. This chapter analyses social rights at three levels: (1) social rights at the level of the European Union; (2) social rights at the level of Member States; and (3) the social rights of EU mobile and EU migrant citizens. It will be argued that social rights at the EU level are only weakly developed compared to economic rights. Moreover, social rights at the level of the Member State continue to be mainly determined by domestic factors, although austerity policies, promoted by EU institutions, had a negative impact on social rights in countries severely hit by the economic and subsequent sovereign-debt crisis. Social rights of EU migrant citizens remain primarily focused on workers, while rights for economically inactive EU migrant citizens continue to be severely restricted within the first five years of residence.
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