From the European Semester to the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Some social actors are (not) resurfacing

Vanhercke B. and Verdun A., with Atanasova A., Spasova S. and Thomson M.

Working Paper 2021.13, Brussels, ETUI, 48 p.

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This report examines how and why the Semester became part of the governance of the RRF. We also ask to what extent this new set-up has changed the power balance among key EU actors? Drawing on extensive document analysis and 32 semi-structured elite interviews, the findings suggest that initially, due to the crisis (and desire for fast action), there was a serious risk that EU institutional social actors were losing the prominence they had previously earned. They gradually reclaimed their position as the immediacy of the crisis subsided and a longer-term focus emerged. By contrast, EU civil society organisations (CSOs) have been sidelined. Likewise in most Member States, consultation with social partners and CSOs has remained insufficient by any standard.

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