At the heart of the European integration process is the political economy debate over whether the EU should be a market-making project, or if it should combine this with integration in employment and social policy. What has been the impact of the 2004 and 2007 rounds of enlargement upon the political economy of European integration? EU enlargement, the clash of capitalisms and the European social dimension analyses the impact of the 2004 and 2007 enlargements upon the politics of European integration within EU employment and social policy. This book analyses the main policy negotiations in the field and analyses the political positions and contributions of the Central and Eastern European Member States. Through an analyses of the negotiations of the Services Directive, the revision of the Working Time Directive and the Europe 2020 poverty target, the book argues that the addition of the Central and Eastern European states has strengthened liberal forces at the EU level and undermined integration with EU employment and social policy.
The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the political economy of European integration and to examine the EU’s competence within employment and social policy. It argues that the EU’s involvement in social policy and labour can best be understood as a European social dimension (ESD) – that is, although there is considerable political activity at EU level in terms of employment and social policy, unlike the SEM or Monetary Union, integration within the field is a work in progress. Its current and future developments are therefore very much dependent upon the EU’s political constellations. The chapter concludes by identifying the 2004 and 2007 new member States as a potential threat to the ESD.
This chapter presents a modified version of Stone Sweet’s and Sandholtz’s (1997, 1998) ‘supranational governance’ approach to account for the integration dynamics of the EU. It argues that EU negotiations are conducted within a transnational political space, and that transnational actors are capable of exerting their influence. Divisions within the EU’s political space can be understood as a clash of capitalisms between two broad coalitions - the liberal and regulatory coalitions which are centred on different conceptions of how the EU ought to be governed. The constructed framework can therefore be used to guide the analysis within the following three case studies.
The chapter concerns the negotiations of the Services Directive, which has become known as one of the most contentious pieces of EU policy negotiated over the last decade. While the proposed Directive directly related to the Single European Market (SEM), the ensuing debate focused upon the impact it would have on the potential to undermine the European social dimension. The chapter analyses the negotiations of the proposed directive from 2004-2006. In particular it pays attention to the positions and contribution of the CEE states during the negotiations.
This chapter concerns the renegotiation of the 1993 Working Time Directive which sets out a 48-hour limit to an employee’s working week, as well as requirements for rest and annual leave. The directive contains the opt-out whereby employees would be allowed to work in excess of the 48-hour week. It also contained a clause whereby the opt-out was to be reviewed after a ten year period paving the way for the 2004 negotiations. The chapter analyses the negotiations and pays attention to the positions and contribution of the CEE states during the negotiations.
This chapter concerns the negotiations surrounding the Europe 2020 poverty target which aims to remove at least 20 million people from living in poverty and social exclusion. The voluntary target is underpinned by a number of different ideological perspectives regarding poverty reduction. The chapter analyses the negotiations and pays attention to the positions and contribution of the CEE states during the negotiations.
The European social dimension and the clash of capitalisms in a post-2004 EU
In the conclusion it is argued that the 2004 and 2007 enlargements have had a profound impact on the clash of capitalisms surrounding the ESD. With few exceptions the CEE states joined the liberal coalition during the three case study negotiations. The outcome has been a strengthening of the liberal coalition, which has made policy outcomes of a more substantive nature for EU employment and social policy more difficult to achieve. The second section considers why the CEE states are supportive of the liberal coalition and the final part of the chapter explores the future of the ESD in the context of enlargement and the EU’s current political climate.