The EU’s socio-economic model(s) and the crisi(e)s – any perspectives?

Research output: Other contribution


The paper discusses the question how the EU's socio-economic models pursued in the past will fare in an on-going economic crisis. It discusses the notion of the EU socio-economic model, since what has been debated as EU social model was always inextricably linked to economic policy. The section argues that such a socio-economic model constitutes a programmatic vision common to the EU and its Member States in spite of the diversity of its concretisations at national levels. This vision has always been underpinned by values expressed in the EU Treaties, a normative base that has been strengthened through successive Treaty reforms, and particularly by the Treaty of Lisbon. EU can fulfil its normative commitment to a socio-economic model that does not, in fact, prioritise the economic side of things. Uncovering a confusing mix of socio-economic governance, it concludes that hard law and resulting judicial governance and so called “new governance” through targets that are not legally binding do not necessarily differ in efficiency. However, hard law, legislative competences and “new governance” instruments tend to be more efficient in contributing to the economic aspects of the EU socio-economic model than in relation to the social ones. The paper thus concludes that much needs to be done to reconcile the EU's normative aspirations (which are enshrined in its legal base) with the practical development of its socio-economic model.
First published as CELLS working paper at the University of Leeds, the paper also constitutes the first chapter of Schiek (ed) The EU Economic and Social Model in the Global Crisis (Farnham: Ashgate 2013). This is the penultimate version, before some smaller editorial changes were made for printing.
Original languageEnglish
TypeWorking Paper
Media of outputOn-line paper
PublisherCentre for European Law and Legal Studies
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationLeeds
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • European Union
  • Economic Crisis
  • Socio-Economic Model
  • governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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