To What Extent can the European Union Deliver “Social Citizenship” to its Citizens?

Jean-Claude Barbier

in Social Policy and Citizenship

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199754045
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979455 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

To What Extent can the European Union Deliver “Social Citizenship” to its Citizens?

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T. H. Marshall’s view of citizenship had little to do with what, in 1992, the Maastricht Treaty was to call “EU citizenship.” For all the normative enthusiasm for presumed “postnational” Europe and despite far-reaching Europeanization, access to social protection has, since the Treaty of Rome, remained firmly national. Limited positive integration has been the rule, against a background of a powerful negative integration—that is, the discarding of legal and other obstacles brought about by the systematic introduction of mechanisms aimed at promoting unrestricted competition. The main exception in terms of significant European influence on social and labor rights has been equality between men and women, because of the unexpected spillover effects of the initial provisions in the Treaty of Rome: this could change with a more extensive application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the future, but it is unlikely.

Keywords: social Europe; European citizenship; economic freedoms; social rights

Chapter.  9688 words. 

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