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After AusterityWelfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession$
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Peter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth, and Heejung Chung

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790266.001.0001

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The Europeanization of the Welfare State

The Europeanization of the Welfare State

The Case for a ‘Differentiated European Social Model’

Chapter:
(p.180) 9 The Europeanization of the Welfare State
Source:
After Austerity
Author(s):

Benjamin Leruth

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198790266.003.0009

Since the ratification of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European integration project has been committed to reducing inequalities between member states. However, social inequalities remain high, and public support for the welfare state varies between countries. Some experts have suggested a common European social policy. This chapter analyses recent developments and future prospects at the European Union level. After discussing the initial ambitions of social policy harmonization, it focuses on the role of the EU during the Great Recession by examining the range of policy responses advocated by Brussels in order to fight against a multi-faceted crisis. These are dominated by the tightening of austerity, but include social investment and greater labour market flexibility. The final section reflects on the future of European integration after Brexit. It argues that further common policy development is only likely through agreements restricted to a particular a number of member states in an ‘ever more differentiated Europe’.

Keywords:   European Union, social policy, Brexit, harmonization, Euroscepticism, neo-liberalism, social investment, Growth and Stability pact, differentiated integration

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