Realizing distributive justice in the EU
in Towards a just Europe
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This chapter addresses the question, is distributive justice in the EU a feasible project? The author claims that the policy proposals presented in the previous chapters are feasible in the long run if a number of requirements are met. First, any scheme of distributive justice at the EU level has to be compatible with a plurality of welfare regimes in the Union. The EU threshold of basic goods is consistent with this requirement insofar as it draws on an existing “overlapping consensus” regarding primary goods and it does not imply the harmonization of social policies. Secondly, any feasible EU scheme has to imply a relatively small amount of inter-state transfers. This can be achieved through a focus on pre-distribution. Thirdly, an economically sustainable scheme needs to be financed through public policies which anticipate increasing social needs in times of crisis. The proposals of this book do so by prescribing the accumulation of public savings in times of prosperity. Fourthly, a new institutional framework is needed at the EU level to realize distributive justice. In addition to a change in the treaties conferring social policy competences to the EU, the author proposes the creation of an EU agency for social justice, with the task of dealing with the main budgetary and operational challenges of distributive justice.

Towards a just Europe

A theory of distributive justice for the European Union


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