Current Legal Problems Lecture Series 2013-14
The future of EU social policy
Professor Catherine Barnard (Cambridge)
Chaired by Professor Hugh Collins,
Vinerian Professor of English Law, Oxford University
Thursday 8 May 2014
from 6 - 7pm
If the critics are right, the EU social model is dead and that’s the end of it. Those on the right may well be dancing on its grave; those more sympathetic might mourn its passing. My view is more sanguine. In this lecture I shall argue that the European social model is facing unprecedented challenges: to its very raison d’être and to its future. However, I will suggest that these challenges, caused in part by the EU’s response to the crisis but more generally resulting from a growing hostility towards the European Union project as a whole, are not terminal and that there is a continued role for European social policy. The lecture will examine first, why EU social policy is facing such difficulties, second, the EU’s long-standing ability to regenerate and resurrect itself in different guises in the field of social policy, and third, it will make some suggestions as to the form EU social policy might take going forward.
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