Implementing fiscal consolidation measures without first considering social stabilisers has led to turn what originally was an economic recession into a social crisis too. The economic and social divergences in Europe have increased to a point where the future of the social dimension of the EU has been put into question. There is however, a provision in the Treaties that obliges the EU to take into account social issues in all its policies and activities, namely, the so-called horizontal social clause enshrined in Article 9 TFEU. The potential of this clause to mainstream the social dimension of the EU and foster balance between social and economic policies has, however, not yet been untapped. The recently launched European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR), which aims at achieving a highly competitive social market economy, brings to the table a number of rights-based objectives along with a number of indicators that might shed some light over the constraints faced by the horizontal social clause. This article aims at unravelling the potential of the horizontal social clause in envisioning parity between the social and the economic and providing a social pillar to the EU. This contribution provides first a legal analysis of Article 9 TFEU and it briefly discusses the problematic behind its poor implementation. Later, the potential of the horizontal social clause is discussed in the light of the current developments in the framework of economic governance. This article also suggests a number of scenarios where social mainstreaming should be duly implemented. It suggests that Article 9 TFEU may have an important role, in particular, with regard to austerity measures when envisioning it together with the EPSR.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||European Journal of Social Security|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|