News from Nov 22, 2013
Eigmüller, Monika (2013): Europeanization from Below. The Influence of Individual Actors on the EU Integration of Social Policies. Journal of European Social Policy, 23 (4), 364–376.
European political integration has largely been described as a process that is driven by elites rather than citizens. This does not apply to the field of European social policy, which is often influenced by individual actors and their particular interests. This specific involvement of individuals is based on politically created roles, such as European Consumer, European Worker and European Citizen, and the rights related to them. EU citizens now adopt these roles and actively refer to entitlements that emerge for them from EU Law, especially when asserting their rights in court. As an unintended effect we can indeed observe a transfer of competences from the national to the European level in the field of social policy – even against the expressed will of national governments. The evolution of European social policy can therefore only be explained by including the individual citizen in the analysis.