EU Economic Governance in Action: Coordinating Employment and Social Policies in the Third European Semester
22 Pages Posted: 21 May 2014
Date Written: May 20, 2014
New economic coordination has changed the landscape of EU governance (Amtenbrink, 2012). Its impact on the EU’s social dimension is topic of political and scholarly debate. Some tend to argue that the EU has lost track of its social aspirations (e.g. Janssen, 2013; Watt, 2013; Clauwaert and Schömann, 2012), while others are more optimistic in their search for a new space for social Europe (e.g. Bekker and Klosse, 2013; Vanhercke, 2013). This paper adds to this discussion by analysing the interaction between four socio-economic coordination mechanisms joined within the European Semester 2013. Surveying the interaction between separate coordination mechanisms matches the notion that different governance modes are at least interrelated or even 'yoked together' (Armstrong, 2013; Trubek and Trubek, 2007). Using qualitative content analysis techniques, the paper addresses the interaction between the coordination mechanisms, both at the stages of target setting and of recommendation-giving to individual countries. The conclusion is that new economic governance is characterised by integrated socio-economic coordination, incorporating employment and social issues within economic coordination cycles, especially at the phase of giving recommendations. However, this does not necessarily mean that social-policy recommendations stemming from an economic coordination cycle always constrain the EU’s social dimension.
Keywords: EU governance, EU social policy, EU economic governance
JEL Classification: F02, J18, K31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation