|Title:||Mere Objectives or Hard Law? A Case Study on the EU‘s Social Policy in the Context of Free Market Economy|
Vol. 10, No 3, 2017
Published date: 10-2017 (print) / 10-2017 (online)
Economics & Sociology
ISSN: 2071-789X, eISSN: 2306-3459
WSB University in Wrocław
|Keywords:||EU social policy, social market economy, economic and financial crisis, national welfare system, EU socio-economic model|
|JEL classification:||P48, H12, K20, J80|
The purpose of this contribution is to assess the impact of the EU Internal Market rules on the development of Union’s social policy. To that end the author analyses trends in the EU’s social policy over time, also following the outbreak of the economic and financial crisis in 2008, synthesising selected Union’s legislation, soft measures and case law relating to social policy, with a view to determining their immediate or potential impact on social rights and social protection. It is submitted that to date, the Union has made but a very restricted use of its powers to develop the social dimension of its Single Market, which contributes to the difficulties in reconciling social and labour rights with competition law and economic freedoms. This problem is ascribed not exclusively to the commonly blamed inequality of arms resulting from the prevalence of soft measures in the area of social policy and the hard law regulatory framework for the implementation of the Single Market rules. Its core is identified in the lack of will on the part of national governments to advance economic integration on common (European) social foundations. Hence the necessary prerequisite for the further advance of the EU social policy and a sustainable European socio-economic model is the attitude change in the Member States.
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