This article discusses whether the pre-crisis political right-turn in the European Union (EU) has had an impact on the development of European work and employment regulation. It finds that although pro-regulation actors have been weakened in the year leading up to the crisis, the expected weakening of Social Europe is only seen in a minority of the eight cases of EU-level work and employment regulation analysed. It is argued that two mechanisms can help explain this weaker than expected impact: successful resistance from pro-regulation actors and a certain form of organizational inertia linked to the actor’s search for legitimacy, especially the Commission’s need for a stronger social profile in order to be reappointed. Moreover, it is argued that stable coalitions have only played a role in some of the cases. The coalitions in action seem less stable and active than previous studies indicate.
Journal of European Social Policy, 2015, Vol 25, Issue 2, p. 194-209
Social Europe; coalitions; employee involvement; employment policy; posting; Faculty of Social Sciences