Chapter

Social Policy

Dorte Sindbjerg Martinsen and Gerda Falkner

in The EU's Decision Traps

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199596225
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729140 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596225.003.0008
Social Policy

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Notwithstanding some persistent, and likely irresolvable, problem-solving gaps, Social Europe has escaped the joint-decision trap on a regular basis. Most importantly, Treaty base games and arena shifting helped to bring about more secondary law and ECJ-driven political decisions than might have been expected considering the decision rules. Furthermore, progressive steps in European social integration were induced by a ‘court-decision trap’. Two examples are studied in depth: health care, and the integration and eventual exportability of social minimum benefits. Indeed, relevant integration was deepened significantly although neither the founding persons of the Treaties nor the governments were willing to create a cross-border market for health care or open social assistance related benefits for exportability.

Keywords: social policy; European integration; European Court of Justice; Treaty base game; arena shifting

Chapter.  8678 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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