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 most recent academic discourses. Third, the forward-looking perspective of the book aims to provide stakeholders and policymakers with specific tools that allow them to discern new opportunities to influence policymaking.

In this 2015 edition of Social policy in the European Union: state of play, the authors tackle the topics of the state of EU politics after the parliamentary elections, the socialisation of the European Semester, methods of political protest, the Juncker investment plan, the EU’s contradictory education investment, the EU’s contested influence on national healthcare reforms, and the neoliberal Trojan Horse of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

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Table of contents

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David Natali, Bart Vanhercke and Riley Johnson: Introduction - The EU and the social legacy of the crisis: piecemeal adjustment or room for a paradigm shift?

Vivien A. Schmidt: Changing the policies, politics, and processes of the Eurozone in crisis: will this time be different?

Jonathan Zeitlin and Bart Vanhercke: Economic governance in Europe 2020: socialising the European Semester against the odds?

Richard Hyman: Austeritarianism in Europe: what options for resistance?

Martin Myant: The European Commission’s investment plan: a critical appraisal and some alternatives

Chiara Agostini and David Natali: The EU’s ambivalent involvement in education and training policies

Furio Stamati and Rita Baeten: Varieties of healthcare reform: understanding EU leverage

Dalila Ghailani and Aída Ponce del Castillo: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): converging interests and diverging opinions

David Natali: Future prospects – The EU political dilemma, Europe’s democratic challenge and the role of trade unions in solving these

Cécile Barbier: Chronology 2014 – Key events in European policy