Soft Europeanisation? How the Soft Pressure from Above Affects the Bottom (Differently): The Belgian, Spanish and Swedish Experiences
Title: Soft Europeanisation? How the Soft Pressure from Above Affects the Bottom (Differently): The Belgian, Spanish and Swedish Experiences
Author: LÓPEZ-SANTANA, Mariely
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2007/10
The aim of this paper is to capture and explain the differential influences of non-binding agreements (i.e., soft law) launched by the European Union. More specifically, this piece proposes a theoretical framework to understand why and how the European Employment Strategy has affected domestic settings in Belgium, Spain, and Sweden in similar and different ways. To answer this question, I develop a theoretical toolbox to guide researchers who study and analyze policy areas ruled by non-binding agreements. More specifically, to develop my arguments, I focus on four types of internalization: 1) legal, 2) political, 3) intra-governmental, and 4) governmental-societal. The paper seeks to contribute to the literatures on Europeanisation and ‘second image reversed’ by developing theoretical propositions about the domestic factors that facilitate and hinder the internalization of supranational non-binding regulations on EU Member States. In addition, the paper seeks to make a contribution to the literature on welfare states in advanced industrial states as I argue that contemporary accounts of European welfare state reform ought to consider the articulation of rules outside the realm of nation-states, specifically those launched by the supranational level, given that these soft mandates have the capacity to subtly transform domestic policies and institutions.
Subject: Belgium; Implementation; Employment policy; Europeanisation; Multilevel governance; New modes of governance; Open method of coordination; Soft law; Spain; Sweden
Type of Access: openAccess