This volume is the 20th anniversary edition of Social policy in the EU: state of play. Coordinated by Cécile Barbier and Philippe Pochet, the first edition covered the year 1999 and was published as a collaborative project between the European Social Observatory (OSE) and the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) in 2000.

This anniversary edition looks back at the main developments in EU social policymaking over the past two decades. Key questions addressed in this volume include:

  • what was the place of the social dimension during the financial and economic crisis?
  • Who has driven, and who has braked, EU social policymaking?
  • Which instruments does the EU have at its disposal for ‘market correcting’ policies?
  • And last but not least, what are the next steps in the further implementation of the EU’s social dimension, especially in the context of the European Pillar of Social Rights?

The editors provide also an analytical chronology of the main developments of the EU’s social dimension over the past twenty years and summarise the key messages put across by the authors of the book’s chapters regarding key EU social policy areas. The chapter also discusses some of the recent debates on the EU’s social agenda under the new von der Leyen European Commission, while providing policy recommendations drawing on the analyses presented in this book.

Despite many optimistic statements by the EU leaders, social policy remains a ‘nice to have’ (if and when the economic and political context allows for it), not a ‘must have’.

Buy printed version
€ 25.00
en

Table of contents

Social policy in the European Union 1999-2019

Philippe Pochet: Chapter 1 - Twenty years of the publication ‘Social policy in the European Union’: what have we learned?

Amy Verdun and Valerie D’Erman: Chapter 2 - Two decades of change in Europe: post-crisis social policymaking in the EU

Sacha Garben: Chapter 3 - Balancing fundamental social and economic rights in the EU: in search of a better method

Jean-Paul Tricart: Chapter 4 - Once upon a time there was the European social dialogue

Bart Vanhercke : Chapter 5 - From the Lisbon strategy to the European Pillar of Social Rights: the many lives of the Social Open Method of Coordination

Roberta Guerrina: Chapter 6 - From Amsterdam to Lisbon and beyond: reflections on twenty years of gender

Rob Cornelissen and Frederic De Wispelaere: Chapter 7 - Sixty years of European social security coordination: achievements, controversies and challenges

Paolo Graziano and Laura Polverari: Chapter 8 - The social impact of EU cohesion policy

Bart Vanhercke, Slavina Spasova, Dalila Ghailani and Philippe Pochet: Conclusions: the twists and turns of two decades of EU social policymaking

Boris Fronteddu and Denis Bouget: Twenty years of European social policy: key events from 1999 to 2018

Key events 2018

Related content

Karen M. Anderson, Denis Bouget, Eleanor Brooks, ...

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2020

All chapters of Social policy in the EU: state of play 2020 consider the consequences of the unfolding public health crisis. Covid‑19’s hijacking of the book had important implications for the contributors, whom we asked not only to analyse key developments in the EU social agenda during 2019 but also to describe the initial Covid‑19-driven EU and... Find out more

Bart Vanhercke, Dalila Ghailani, Sebastiano Sabato

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2018

This year’s stock-take of Social Europe - Social Policy in the European Union: state of play 2018 - reports on recent EU and national social policymaking with a focus on the game-changing advent of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) one year ago. A dominant feature of this annual review of social policy in the European Union is the way in... Find out more

Bart Vanhercke, David Natali, Denis Bouget

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2016

The 17th edition of Social policy in the European Union: state of play reports on recent EU and national social policymaking, with contributions from leading scholars pointing to a ‘crisis’, the best word to characterize 2015. Tensions in the EU reached an unprecedented level: the migration crisis showed the EU the limits of its decision-making... Find out more

Bart Vanhercke, Sebastiano Sabato, Denis Bouget

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2017

The 18th edition of Social policy in the European Union: state of play reports on recent European Union (EU) and national social policymaking, with contributions from leading scholars pointing at attempts to move out of the multiple crises hitting the European Union since 2008. The formidable challenges confronting the EU in 2016 have put its... Find out more

David Natali, Bart Vanhercke

Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2015

The sixteenth edition of Social policy in the European Union: state of play has a triple ambition. First, it provides easily accessible information to a wide audience about recent developments in both EU and domestic social policymaking. Second, the volume provides a more analytical reading, embedding the key developments of the year 2014 in the... Find out more

Séverine Picard

Revising the Working Time Directive. A long and winding road

In November 2011, the European social partners notified the European Commission of their plans to start negotiating on working time. They have set a deadline of September 2012 to agree on a revision of the Working Time Directive after an unfruitful five years of discussions by the European institutions. The rocky road travelled shows the enormity... Find out more

Cécile Barbier, Philippe Pochet

Social developments in the European Union 1999

Publication date: 2000 European social policy seems to be at a new turning point. The smooth switch to the euro coincided with an almost unhoped-for economic upturn and drop in unemployment in most European Union (EU) countries. A new Commission is in place and the Social Affairs Commissioner, Anna Diamantopoulou, has stressed the need to create... Find out more