Formulating European work and employment regulation during the pre-crisis years: Coalition building and institutional inertia

Article by Mikkel Mailand and Jens Arnholtz

This article discusses whether the pre-crisis political right-turn in the European Union (EU) has had an impact on the development of European work and employment regulation.

It finds that although pro-regulation actors have been weakened in the year leading up to the crisis, the expected weakening of Social Europe is only seen in a minority of the eight cases of EU-level work and employment regulation analysed.

It is argued that two mechanisms can help explain this weaker than expected impact: successful resistance from pro-regulation actors and a certain form of organizational inertia linked to the actor’s search for legitimacy, especially the Commission’s need for a stronger social profile in order to be reappointed.

Moreover, it is argued that stable coalitions have only played a role in some of the cases. The coalitions in action seem less stable and active than previous studies indicate.

Read the full article in Journal Of European Social Policy (pdf)