What does EU law truly mean for the member states? Do they abide or don't they? This book presents the first encompassing and in-depth empirical study of the effects of 'voluntaristic' and (partly) 'soft' EU policies in all 15 member states. The authors examine 90 case studies across a range of EU Directives and shed light on burning contemporary issues in political science, integration theory, and social policy. They reveal that there are major implementation failures and that, to date, the European Commission has not been able adequately to perform its control function. While all countries are occasional non-compliers, some quite frequently privilege their domestic political concerns over performance of their EU-related duties. Others neglect these EU obligations as a matter of course. This study answers questions of crucial importance for politics in theory and in practice, and suggests how implementation of EU law can be fostered in the future.
• This innovative study of all 15 member states presents unique empirical data on the implementation of EU law • Answers questions of crucial importance for politics in theory and in practice • Suggests how implementation of EU law can be fostered in the future
Preface; 1. Introduction: flexible EU governance in domestic practice; 2. Theorising the domestic impact of EU law: the state of the art and beyond; 3. EU social policy over time: the role of Directive; 4. The Employment Contract Information Directive: a small but useful social complement to the internal market; 5. The Pregnant Workers Directive: European social policy between protection and employability; 6. The Working Time Directive: European standards taken hostage by domestic politics; 7. The Young Workers Directive: a safety net with holes; 8. The Parental Leave Directive: compulsory policy innovation and voluntary over-implementation; 9. The Part-time Work Directive: a facilitator of national reforms; 10. Voluntary reforms triggered by the Directives; 11. The EU Commission and (non-)compliance in the Member States; 12. Beyond policy change: convergence of national public-private relations?; 13. Implementation across countries and Directive; 14. Why do Member States fail to comply? Testing the hypotheses suggested in the literature; 15. Making sense of compliance patterns: a typology; 16. Conclusions: myth and reality of 'social Europe'; References.
Best Book on the EU, EUSA Book Prize 2005/2006 - Winner
'This is an excellent book on an important theme in European governance, forming an essential part of a wide-ranging, multi-authored series. Its excellence derives from its detailed, scholarly approach which is both exhaustive and, in the end, compelling in its conclusions.' Industrial Relations Journal
'… readers interested in EU law, especially in social policy convergence, particularly in the area of labour law, will find this an interesting addition to their library.' Law and Politics
'Considering particularly the number of countries studied, this analysis accomplishes an outstanding coverage without sacrificing profoundness.' Zeitschrift für Staats- und Europarecht (translation from German)
'Certainly this book is a very interesting read and a must for all those active in the field of European labour law.' Transfer
'There has been a recent surge in interest in studying compliance with European laws and regulations. … This book contributes significantly to this literature, by broadening the range of factors and actors that might prevent or facilitate implementation, and by showing that the method of careful case studies can accumulate interesting insights.' West European Politics
'This is an excellent book on an important theme in European governance, forming an essential part of a wide-ranging, multi-authored series. Its excellence derives from its detailed, scholarly approach which is both exhaustive and, in the en, compelling in its conclusion.' Industrial Relations Journal
'At a time when there exists a multitude of publications on the Europeanization of government policies, this present study will serve as a benchmark as to the manner in which the impact of European Directives on the member states can be tested … this is an essential book, not only for the study of European social policies but also, and above all, for a systematic and finely-tuned understanding of the political processes involved in the implementation (or otherwise) of European law.' Bruno Palier, EUSA
'A new study by Gerda Falkner of Vienna and her collaborators reminds us that for many political scientists, and lawyers too, the question of compliance and implementation is best posed at a microscopic than at a macroscopic level. Their detailed study of the EU-wide implementation of a number of controversial measures with redistributive consequences in the area of social and employment policy ... draws a number of arresting conclusions.' Neil Walker, EUI Review