‘Cover to Cover’ Book Talk at the EUI on ‘The Parliamentary Roots of European Social Policy’

I’m thrilled to return to the EUI on Friday, 23 February 2024, 15h00-16h00, to discuss my book ‘The Parliamentary Roots of European Social Policy: Turning Talk into Power’ (Palgrave) with Prof. Lorenzo Mechi (Università degli Studi di Padova) in this week’s Alcide De Gasperi ‘Cover to Cover’ book talk.

In this talk, I present my analysis of the early European Parliament (EP) as a surprisingly strong and effective actor in driving European social policy. The EP – a powerful actor in today’s European Union – was not intended to be more than a consultative assembly at first. Yet this book shows that the EP was much more influential in shaping Community policy in the early years of the integration process than either the founding Treaties or most existing scholarship would allow.

The book studies the EP’s institutional evolution through the lens of Community social policy, a policy area with a particularly strong ideational dimension. It argues that by promoting a European social dimension, Members of the EP (MEPs) presented the Parliament as the true representative of European citizens by channelling their interests and needs. MEPs thus emphasised the EP’s role as a provider of democratic legitimacy for Community politics, whilst at the same time trying to convince European citizens that the Communities could have a real and positive impact on their everyday lives.

You can join the presentation and discussion, led by University of Padova Professor Lorenzo Mechi, at the EUI (Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati) or via Zoom (please register here to receive the link).

‘Cover to Cover’ is a book talk series organised by the Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre, co-directed by Professor Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol (Department of History) and Dieter Schlenker (Director of the Historical Archives of the European Union), and under the scientific coordination of Dr. Pierre Alayrac.