Falkner, Gerda. (2004) Kontinuität und/oder Wandel? Zahlen und Fakten zur EU-Sozialpolitik. = Continuity and/or change? Facts and figures on EU social policy IHS Political Science Series: 100, November 2004. [Working Paper]
This paper analyses the development of regulatory and distributive social policy at the level of the European Union (EU), mainly in a quantitative sense. Detailed data on the legal competences of the EU and on their use in practice are presented in a multitude of tables and figures. We see a rather impressive growth of EU social law from the early days of European integration until the end of 2002. Contrary to frequent expectations, non-binding acts have hitherto not replaced binding law. Rather, soft law and the much-debated "open method of coordination" are complements to more traditional minimum harmonisation. On the level of political science and legal theory, this paper concludes that both the neovoluntarism approach and the legalization hypothesis highlight important aspects of EU social policy, but that neither of them should be understood as an overall view on EU social policy.
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