The growing potential integration capacity of the acquis of the European Social Model

Beryl P. ter Haar

Abstract


This paper engages in the discussion about the meaning of the open method of coordination (OMC) for the development of the European Social Model (ESM). It argues that, from a legal perspective, the OMC is a positive development rather than a threat for the ESM. To support this argument, the paper introduces an analytical model, based on suggestions of Dehousse and Weiler (1990), to assess the potential integration capacity of the acquis of the European Social Model (ESM) based on the legal dynamics of integration. From such the acquis of equal opportunity in employment and active labour market policies are assessed for their potential integration capacity. The analysis finds that over the course of time, the potential integration capacity of the respective acquis have become stronger since the introduction of the OMC. Therefore, the conclusion is that the utilisation of the OMC to govern these social policies is a positive process which has strengthened Europe’s capacity to further develop the ESM.

Keywords


European social model; acquis communautaire; open coordination; employment policy; soft law; law

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