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Compliance with EU Social Policies in Old and New Member States: Different Worlds, Different Remedies


  • Gerda Falkner


Going beyond the traditional compliance debate that is still ongoing in various journals and geared towards a specialized political science sub-community, this paper focuses on the wider social reform issues arising from the finding that there are serious compliance problems almost everywhere in the EU, particularly when enforcement and application of the standards are considered and not only formal transposition into domestic law. This article presents in brief the findings from two large-scale research projects on (non-)compliance with EU law in two sub-fields of social policy, working time and equal treatment policies. Two teams of co-authors studied the "old" EU15 plus later four countries from Central and Eastern Europe: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. Four "worlds of compliance" were discussed on the basis of our findings from the 102 overall qualitative case studies. Searching for ways to improve the state of social affairs, it seems useful to build on these differential procedural modes of implementation and to draw up tailor-made recommendations of potential use for those fighting compliance problems, such as the European Commission.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerda Falkner, 2010. "Compliance with EU Social Policies in Old and New Member States: Different Worlds, Different Remedies," Working Papers of the Vienna Institute for European integration research (EIF) 6, Institute for European integration research (EIF).
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:eifxxx:p0014

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    social policy; implementation; directives; political science; non-discrimination; Czech Republic; Hungary; Slovakia; Slovenia;

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