Social policy in the European Union: state of play 2022

The OSE was contracted by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) to conduct research which will result in the 23rd edition of the ‘Bilan social’ (the short name of the book in French), which will be edited this year by Bart Vanhercke, Sebastiano Sabato and Slavina Spasova. Other contributors to the book include Angelina Atanasova, David Bokhorst, Petra Debusscher, Federico Fabbrini, Matteo Marenco, Zane Rasnača and Sotiria Theodoropoulou. Chapter 1 will provide a broad discussion of the impact of the war in Ukraine on the future of the EU, including the prospects of the Conference on the Future of Europe. Chapter 2 describes similarities and differences between the steering of social reforms under the European Semester and under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Chapter 3 then seeks to understand whether and how the RRF promotes the integration of policies for the green transition and social policies. The second part of the book provides an in-depth analysis of some of the key initiatives in the social domain of the past year. Chapter 4 analyses how the issue of regulating the labour status and social protection of platform work has been addressed at the EU level and which actors defend/oppose this agenda. Turning to the key issue of gender equality, Chapter 5 provides a critical assessment of the ‘Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025’. The rule of law conditionality mechanism and its potential impact on social policy are at the heart of Chapter 6. The concluding chapter provides an analytical reading of the main developments in the EU’s social dimension during the past year, while the Chronology summarises the key events of 2021 in social, economic and environmental policies.