Social Welfare and Levels of Democratic Government in the EU

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Series Details Vol.34, No.4, June 2012, p397-418
Publication Date June 2012
ISSN 0703-6337
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This article investigates the involvement of sub-national authorities and national parliaments in policy coordination in the area of welfare policy in the European Union (EU).

Their involvement is analysed in terms of influence in policy input, ex-post evaluation and monitoring of the executive. The findings are set against the four typologies of constitutional arrangements prevalent in Europe. The article concludes that the involvement of sub-national authorities is uneven, depending on their constitutional structures, as federal and regionalized states in general have more elaborate mechanisms, but some centralized states have sophisticated systems, too, which point to existing governance practices also playing a role.

Throughout the EU, national parliaments remain largely decoupled from the open method of coordination. In the case of both sub-national authorities and parliaments, their input is greater in the preparatory phase than in the ex-post evaluation, which has implications for democratic policy-making.

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