Informations and abstract
Keywords: European Social Policy; Policy Change; European Commission; European Semester; Policy Dynamics.
Recent developments of the EU social and employment policies have been the object of a broad debate. Some scholars have pointed out the increasing marginalization of the European Union (EU) social and employment policies, especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Others, on the contrary, have highlighted some important novelties and advancements in this supranational policy area. This article gets into the debate, by analysing the evolution of the EU social and employment policies in the decade 2009-2019, with a special focus on the novelties introduced by the Juncker's Commission. Notably, it proposes an original analytical framework that looks at the content and the dynamics of policy change in three main areas of EU social and employment policy: regulative (EU legislation), coordinative (EU Semester) and redistributive (EU budget). While relying on original data, this article provides empirical evidence of the re-orientation of the EU social agenda and the introduction of new (financial) instruments as well. Overall, the article concludes that the dynamic of policy change is incremental yet transformative in all the three policy areas analysed.