The Social Chimera of the Economic and Monetary Union : Social Policy in the Context of European Economic Governance
Abstract: The European Union (EU) in its current shape and form is primarily a product of deepening economic integration, whereas a social dimension of European integration that would be comparable in ambition to its economic dimension has failed to manifest itself despite repeated attempts to give the social dimension greater weight. Based on a neo-Gramscian theoretical perspective of hegemony, this can be attributed to the predominance of neo-liberal hegemony. However, the financial and economic crisis that began in 2008 highlighted some of the deficiencies of an Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) that coordinates macro-economic policy without the capacity to ease the social impact of these policies on citizens. In turn, this facilitated a renewed interest in the social democratic project for a stronger social dimension. In order to assess if this led to a shift towards a greater concern for social policy objectives vis-à-vis economic ones in the context of European Economic Governance, this paper conducts a qualitative content analysis of the Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs),which are part of this governance structure.
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