The European Pillar of Social Rights Meets the Nordic Model

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The ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ (EPSR), consisting of 20 principles, was adopted as a solemn declaration by EU institutions in November 2017. This paper examines how the EPSR changes the EU social policy regime and how it could impact the ‘Nordic model’, focusing on Sweden and Denmark.
The paper has four main conclusions. First, the EPSR principles build on and adapt previous EU initiatives, to be implemented mainly via soft law, including policy coordination and social benchmarking, but also updates to directives. Second, although the social partners, especially unions, generally support the EPSR, some fear that certain legislative updates – particularly those to work-life balance and on precarious workers – could undermine the Nordic collective bargaining model. To avoid this, a solution to this could be to introduce clauses in these directives, respecting the autonomy of Nordic social partners. Third, the EPSR mimics the main policies of the Nordic welfare model, which reveals the long-term diffusion of the Nordic model to the EU level. Fourth, due to the EPSR’s strong reliance on soft law, its success ultimately depends on ownership in member states.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStockholm
PublisherSvenska institutet för europapolitiska studier
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
SeriesEuropean Policy Analysis (SIEPS)

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