Divergence within Convergence: Europeanization of Social and Labour Market Policies
Journal of European Integration, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 269-290, 2010
23 Pages Posted: 29 May 2010 Last revised: 8 Jan 2015
Date Written: May 28, 2010
Since the adoption of the European Employment Strategy and the Lisbon strategy, convergence of social protection goals and labour market policies across EU countries features prominently on the European agenda. Embedded in convergence, Europeanisation and welfare state literature, this paper examines the role of European integration in changing social policies. It shows that since 1995, social expenditures of EU member states have converged and increased on average, whereas those of non-EU countries have diverged, corrected for cyclical and demographic effects. This EU-specific convergence pattern of social expenditures leads to the subsequent question whether or not national policies also have converged. Relying on disaggregated expenditure data and policy indicators, this study shows an EU-specific trend of increasing activation of labour market policies. However, within this scope of activation, countries have opted for different mixes of policy instruments.
Keywords: Welfare States, Convergence, Active Labour Market Policies, Europeanization, European Employment Strategy
JEL Classification: H53, H55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation