Mabbett, Deborah. (2007) Opportunities, threats and unintended consequences: The impact on national welfare states of three EU policy processes. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)
[From the introduction]. We trace the insurance case through three policy processes. The creation of a single market in insurance proceeded through the traditional ‘Community Method’ of intergovernmental agreement in Council on directives which are then implemented by through supranational regulation in the form of decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Some of the central issues about the regulation of private insurance and the reform of social insurance are also addressed in the various deliberative fora that the EU now provides for nongovernmental as well as government policy actors to participate in exchanges about policy approaches, share information and resolve common problems. These fora include the European Employment Strategy (EES) and other OMCs. Our purpose in drawing attention to the interrelated impact of these three processes on this policy area is to challenge any assumption that social policy is addressed in the soft law processes of the OMCs while economic integration remains the domain of the hard processes of directives and legal cases. It is true that the OMCs work primarily as ‘reform levers’ providing ideational resources (and sometimes more) for member state governments seeking to reform their welfare states. However, these levers are also pulled by directives and Court decisions, so we see all three processes as affecting social policy through national-level policy shifts and responses to EU-level re-regulation.
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