New study and policy brief for the European Parliament: “The European Parliament and the origins of social policy”

Over the last months, I have worked on a large-scale study and concise policy brief for the European Parliamentary History Service. Drawing on a wide array of archival sources, interviews with contemporary witnesses and literature, the study and brief examine the role of the European Parliament in the establishment of the European Community’s social policy. They demonstrate that Parliament played a key role in placing this nascent policy issue on the Community’s agenda. Parliament influenced the definition of what social policy should include, what it should focus on, and which legal, budgetary and political instruments both the European institutions and member states should use to address a wide variety of specific social problems. In this process, Parliament filtered ideas, issues and political objectives from national and international debates into the European Community. At the same time, it sharpened its own profile as promoter of a genuine social dimension of the Community, and as voice of the people.