Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2017

The OSE was contracted by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) to conduct research, which will result in the 18th edition of the joint edited volume. It will feature renowned academic scholars - Daniel Clegg, Amandine Crespy, Maria João Rodrigues, Vivien Schmidt and Mario Telò - as well as OSE and ETUI contributors. Editors: Bart Vanhercke, Sebastiano Sabato and Denis Bouget.

The 2017 volume of our book will consist of two parts. The first part addresses what we call ‘high-level politics’. Chapter 1 provides the analytical framework for understanding the key dynamics at stake: integration, disintegration and differentiated integration. Chapter 2 deals with Brexit — arguably the key political development in 2016. Chapter 3 addresses the violation of the human rights of refugees. Chapter 4 engages with the European Pillar of Social Rights: a window of opportunity, probably leading to differentiated integration.

The second part of the book addresses ‘day to day’ politics. Chapter 5 provides an assessment of key developments in the 2016 cycle of the European Semester. Chapter 6 engages with the ‘re-launched’ European Social Dialogue. Chapter 7 deals with recent EU initiatives seemingly promoting a transition from regulation to voluntary standards in health care. Chapter 8 discusses recent national policies supporting work-life balance, while chapter 9 provides a comparative view with regard to policies and practices targeted at older workers in Europe. The volume ends with a forward-looking reflection on the future of the EU in relation to the integration, disintegration and differentiated integration dynamics. The chronology summarises the key events of 2016 with regard to social and economic matters.