Shaping the Social Market Economy after the Lisbon Treaty: How ‘Social’ Is Public Economic Law?

15 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2019

See all articles by Anna Gerbrandy

Anna Gerbrandy

Utrecht University - School of Law

Willem A. Janssen

Utrecht University - School of Law

Lyndsey Thomsin

Utrecht University, School of Law

Date Written: September 4, 2019

Abstract

Since the introduction of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, public authorities in the European Union (EU) operate within a social market economy. This socioeconomic model inherently contains an initial promise that social objectives – in addition to economic objectives – have an important role to play in creating this context. Whilst aiming to contribute to social objectives and, thus, shape their part of this economy, public authorities are frequently faced with the possibilities and the often emphasised limitations of public economic law, which most prominently includes EU public procurement law, EU state aid law and EU competition law. This contribution considers the legal tensions that can arise when these authorities aim to pursue social objectives within the remit of these fields of law. Based on the areas of sustainability and employment, it argues that public economic law contains various suitable instruments for the pursuit of these objectives, but also that differences still exist between how a balance is struck between the ‘economic’ and the ‘social’, thereby creating obstacles for public authorities and their social agenda.

Keywords: social market economy, social objectives, economic objectives, social deficit, public procurement law, competition law, state aid law

Suggested Citation

Gerbrandy, Anna and Janssen, Willem A. and Thomsin, Lyndsey, Shaping the Social Market Economy after the Lisbon Treaty: How ‘Social’ Is Public Economic Law? (September 4, 2019). Utrecht Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 32-46, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3474402

Anna Gerbrandy (Contact Author)

Utrecht University - School of Law ( email )

3512 HT Utrecht
Achter Sint Pieter 200
Utrecht
Netherlands

Willem A. Janssen

Utrecht University - School of Law ( email )

Utrecht
Utrecht
Netherlands

Lyndsey Thomsin

Utrecht University, School of Law ( email )

Utrecht
Netherlands

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