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Engineering EqualityAn Essay on European Anti-Discrimination Law$
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Alexander Somek

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693375

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693375.001.0001

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Social Policy: from Domestication to Disarmament

Social Policy: from Domestication to Disarmament

(p.21) 1 Social Policy: from Domestication to Disarmament
Engineering Equality

Alexander Somek

Oxford University Press

The impact of the European Union on the social policies of its Member States can generally be described in terms of domestication, assimilation, and disarmament. Social policy has been domesticated in the sense of remaining largely within the competence of the Member States, however, it is also subject to constraints by the law of the internal market. Assimilation has occurred where the fundamental freedoms were used in order to make social benefits move across national bounds. Disarmament is epitomized by monetary union and by recent developments in the Court’s case law that have moved beyond domestication and ushered in a new era of market liberalisation. The development affects, in particular, industrial relations and systems of collective wage determination. The rise to prominence of European anti-discrimination law needs be seen and assessed against this background.

Keywords:   Social question, European social model, competence allocation in the European Union, State social policy, European citizenship, free movement of services, Lisbon strategy, industrial relations, right to strike, substantive economic due process

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