- Stephan Leibfried
This chapter examines the European Union’s social policy. In the 1980s and 1990s, the EU accumulated significant regulatory mandates in social policy, reaching out more recently to anti-discrimination politics. Yet due to pressures from integrated markets, member governments have lost more control over national welfare policies than the EU has gained in transferred authority, although this development may have stopped, affected by the EU’s responses to the economic crises since 2008. The chapter first considers the limited success of activist social policy before discussing European integration and market compatibility requirements, focusing on the freedom of movement for workers and freedom to provide services and their implications for European competition policy. It also explores how European integration affects national welfare states and concludes with an assessment of Europe’s multi-tiered social policy.