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Governing Social InclusionEuropeanization through Policy Coordination$
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Kenneth A. Armstrong

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199278374

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199278374.001.0001

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Economic Constitutionalism and Social Policy Coordination

Economic Constitutionalism and Social Policy Coordination

(p.188) 6 Economic Constitutionalism and Social Policy Coordination
Governing Social Inclusion

Kenneth A. Armstrong

Oxford University Press

Policy coordination is often considered to be a species of ‘soft law’. In this respect, it is typically contrasted with ‘hard’ EU economic law. For some, whatever the merits of social policy coordination, the policy autonomy on which coordination relies is systematically undermined by an asymmetric constitution that allows economic law to prevail over social concerns. This chapter tests that thesis and finds it to be too simplistic as a general thesis and unpersuasive in the areas subject to the OMC. Through analysis of the case law of the European Court of Justice, key differences in the handling of social solidarity as between competition law and free movement law are found. Although contemporary case law on service provision does raise some concerns, this supports the case for looking to experimental forms of governance as an alternative mechanism for reconciliation of social and economic objectives.

Keywords:   European Court of Justice, economic objectives, competition law, free movement law, solidarity, policy autonomy, experimental governance

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