Policy focus

Policy focus

Policy focus

Policy focus

The Policy Focus section collects articles meant to inform on the facts, the decisions and the events that shape the social dimension of the European Union. They offer in depth analyses and interpretations about the developments occurring within the EU political arena, and try to identify possibility spaces for the strengthening of the European Social Union.

Analyses
8 July 2022

“Double dualisation” and the COVID-19 pandemic. Widening socio-economic inequalities in Europe and the potential for Next Generation EU to stem them

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing divides and socio-economic risks. This is particularly worrisome in Europe, where the Great Recession and the sovereign debt crisis had already led scholars to speak of a ‘double dualisation’ (Heidenreich 2016). Did the COVID-19 pandemic also worsen income inequalities between insiders and outsiders and between core and peripheral countries?

Analyses
23 April 2022

EU economic governance between crises: broken taboos in search of political institutionalization

The pandemic represented a turning point of the debate on the European economic governance. All in all, the combination of existential (public health) crisis and experiential learning from the errors of the Great Recession led EU policymakers, along with the Commission and the ECB at the helm and with strong support from the European Parliament, to adopt a more solidaristic approach to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. In such a context, four taboos were temporarily broken, thus opening the room for a debate on the future of economic governance for the EU.

Analyses
18 February 2022

Youth guarantee: A policy mechanism promoting European convergence? The case of Italy and Greece

Over the last decade, the European Union has faced two major crises simultaneously: the debt crisis and more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic, which has eaten away the dreams and hopes of the youngest population. In this context, the European Union implemented the Youth Guarantee Programme (YG) in 2014, as a contribution to three of the Europe 2020 strategy targets aimed at integrating the most disadvantaged young people into the labour market.

Analyses
22 April 2021

Beyond wage devaluation in Spain?

One of the most vibrant debates taking place concerns the limitations and possibilities that exist in the EU for going beyond austerity-based social and economic policies. In this post we ask to what extent the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the social policy responses it has been triggering, has altered this course, by focusing on the social and labour market policies adopted in reaction to the pandemic by a left-wing Southern European government, that of Spain.

Analyses
30 October 2020

Reforming the Dublin Pact and Activating EU Solidarity: The Objectives of the New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum

The increase in migratory flows towards the European Union (EU) during the 2014–2016 period was followed by a genuine political–institutional crisis and the paralysis of the Common European Asylum System. In 2020, the European Commission presented the New Pact on Asylum and Migration, a composite policy instrument that promises to deeply reform the common asylum policy.

Policy focus
31 July 2020

SURE: What about a permanent instrument?

Short-time work (STW) schemes have proved to be the ace of Member States’ response to the social and employment crisis induced by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this scenario, the proposal of the Commission for a temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE), is to be welcomed as a bold and innovative move. Is the time ripe for the Commission to put the proposal forward for a permanent SURE?

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«The debate over the reform of the ESM has just begun. While a broad consensus exists on its transformation into a EMF, on its future role as backstop for the SRF, and on a greater involvement in the management of the financial assistance programmes, other substantive questions are still to be settled»