|Title||Do policy issues matter in the election campaigns? Social challenges facing the European Union|
|Publication Type||Konfenrencia kiadvány / Conference Paper|
|Év / Year||2019|
|Konferencia neve / Conference Name||European Elections 2019 - Renewing the Political Agenda for a United Europe|
|Kiadó / Publisher||Hungarian Europe Society|
Social Europe or „more social Europe” is probably the most common catch word for those forces who intend to bring the EU closer to its citizens in the fight against populism, nationalism or EU-scepticism. It is a widely shared assumption that in order to reverse destructive waves in the EU and declining support for the Community, European citizens, „left alone” and having become losers of the financial and economic crisis and other global forces should receive benefits by way of the development of the EU social dimension.
In order to do so the European Union has a lot on its plate to offer – with special regard to the newly established European Pillar of Social Rights or the new Cohesion Policy under elaboration. On the other hand, European citizens also have corresponding expectations indeed, by ranking employment and social issues high on the agenda ahead of the European elections.
However, for the time being, the possible political responses to these outlined expectations aren’t very convincing. Compared to assumptions, relatively little can be heard about social issues in the course of the campaign. If this yet to change, then besides the “classical” topic of employment, the new rising issues are that of wages, which are not the subject of any hard community legislation – yet.
It is possible that the picture of social promises and intentions becomes more patterned and colourful by the time of the European elections. If this doesn’t then perhaps that is because the crisis has been fading from memory or other issues come forward with a louder voice such as migration, Brexit, you name it. It remains still a question, whether one of the most important challenges to European citizens will or will not be able to generate outstanding attention to social issues from the competing political forces. And if it does, how will it be reflected in election results and in the longer term, in the development of European social policy?
The Hungarian Europe Society held an international conference supported by the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit entitled "European Elections 2019 - Renewing the Political Agenda for a United Europe" on 12-13 April 2019 at the Ibis Styles Budapest Center (Rákóczi út 58, H-1074 Budapest).