Social Policy and Labor Market Regulation

Catherine Barnard and Simon Deakin

in The Oxford Handbook of the European Union

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199546282
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

Social Policy and Labor Market Regulation


Social policy occupies a marginal and contested position in the legal order of the EU. This is the legacy of an approach that saw labour market regulation as, largely, an issue for the member states. This article reviews the evolution of EU-level social policy. It considers the various justifications offered for this body of law, and then examines the emergence of single market law as a threat to social policy at national level. Finally, the article offers an assessment of possible future developments.

Keywords: EU; social policy; single market law; labour policy

Article.  6560 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; European Union

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