European socioeconomic governance in action: Coordinating social policies in the third European Semester

S. Bekker

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    Although new European Union (EU) economic coordination has changed the landscape of governance, the effects on social Europe are still being discussed. Some argue that the EU has lost track of its social aspirations, while others observe a new space for social Europe. This paper clarifies recent governance changes and their possible effects by giving a comprehensive overview of socio-economic coordination in 2013. It shows that within socioeconomic coordination distinct coordination mechanisms interact and consequently influence each other’s goals. Using qualitative content analysis techniques, the paper identifies such interactions both at the target-setting stage of coordination and at the stage of giving recommendations to individual countries. Economic coordination, in particular, has stretched to include social policy issues. Yet, the governance outcomes in terms of country-specific recommendations neither constrain nor develop the EU’s social dimension per se. This means that there is room to make economic and fiscal rules more open to social goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationBrussels
    PublisherObservatoire social européen
    Number of pages24
    Volume19 / january 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

    Publication series

    NameOSE paper series
    ISSN (Electronic)1994-2893


    • EU social policy, EU governance
    • European Semester


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