J. Hien, C. Joerges, in European Law Journal, vol. 24, no 2-3, 2018, pp. 142-162 ABSTRACT During the years of the financial crisis, ordoliberalism became the target of a European‐wide critical campaign. This school of thought is widely perceived as the ideational source of Germany's crisis politics, which has even led to an “ordoliberalisation of Europe”. This essay questions the validity of such assessments. It focuses on two aspects that are widely neglected in current debates. One is the importance of law in the ordoliberal vision of the ordering of economy and society. The second is its cultural and religious background, in particular in German Protestantism. The influence of the ordoliberal school on European law, so the essay argues, is overrated in all stages of the integration project. Anglo‐American neoliberalism rather than German ordoliberalism has been in the ideational driver's seat since the 1980s. In the responses to the financial crisis, the ordoliberal commitment to the rule of law gave way to discretionary emergency measures. While the foundational synthesis of economic and legal concepts became indefensible, the cultural underpinnings of the ordoliberal tradition survived and developed a life of their own, in particular in German political discourses. This article is available at
P. Vesan, F. Corti, in Politiche Sociali - Il Mulino, vol. 1, 2018, pp. 125-142. ABSTRACT Since 2015, Jean Claude Juncker has promoted the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) as the central aspect of his new strategy to relaunch the EU social dimension. The Social Pillar has the stated aim to be a «compass» for achieving an «upward social convergence» within the European Monetary Union. In November 2017, the presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission signed the inter-institutional proclamation on the EPSR. This proclamation represents the first political commitment on the EPSR's principles, though its concrete policy outputs are still uncertain. This article traces the development of the EPSR and illustrates some of the main tensions, limits and strengths of this initiative. Finally, the article proposes a research agenda based on three axes which refer to the study of the EPSR as a milestone of the new «social strategy» carried out by the President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker. This article is available at
M. Ferrera, C. Burelli, in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, vol. 57, no. 1, 2019, pp. 99-110 ABSTRACT The recent economic shocks have severely tested the EU's political sustainability. The deep‐rooted and unending succession of existential crises demonstrates the sharp misalignment between the high degree of integration reached by the EU, its authority structure, and the absence of solidarity to sustain this structure. The contribution unfolds as follows: first, we claim that the Union has become a complex adaptive system and that attempts to restore the status quo ante are unrealistic. Section II shows that its authority structure is ill‐suited to steering the complex system because it lacks adequate instruments for addressing common risks and democratic externalities. Section III argues that contemporary EU leaders are failing to promote the principles of solidarity which, according to its founding father are required to disarm centrifugal tendencies. Section IV presents empirical evidence which signals the existence of considerable popular support for these pan‐European forms of solidarity. This article is available at
M. Ferrera, in European Journal of Social Theory, Articlet published online on July 3, 2018. This article is availble at
I. Madama, in POLITICHE SOCIALI, vo. 4, no. 1, 2017, pp. 189-206 ABSTRACT The present contribution deals with a recent European social initiative that was launched in 2014 in order to contrast severe material deprivation: the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). The aim of the article is two-fold. First, from a descriptive standpoint, it offers an overview of the main institutional features of this novel component of the European social sphere, meant to provide substance to the lower tier of pan-European solidarity. Second, from an interpretative standpoint, the paper reconstructs the political and institutional dynamics behind the adoption of the program. Despite its narrow budget and scope, findings show that adopting the FEAD was a contested and controversial decision that fostered the emergence of harsh tensions. Interestingly, notwithstanding the frictions that emerged, the institutional and political sponsorship of the program proved to be strong enough to have the initiative approved and strengthened during the policy-making process. This article is available at
A. Viterbo, in European Papers, vol. 1, no. 3, 2016, pp. 501-531 ABSTRACT The aim of this research is to clarify the legal framework under which the ECB applies its conditionality policy, by making a distinction between ‘implicit’ and ‘explicit’ conditionality. In the first years of the sovereign debt crisis, the ECB resorted to an ‘implicit’ form of conditionality, driving euro area member States towards acceptance of an economic adjustment programme or the adoption of significant economic, fiscal and structural reforms. Implicit conditionality has been applied in the context of the ECB’s collateral policy, to the provision of Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), to the purchase of sovereign bonds under the Securities Markets Programme (SMP), as well as to the transfer of profits deriving from these purchases (the so-called ‘SMP profits’). Eventually, the ECB decided to shift to ‘explicit’ conditionality. Under the Outright Monetary Transactions programme (OMT) and the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP), sovereign bonds purchases became subject to compliance with the EU/IMF strict and effective conditionality. The temporary framework for collateral eligibility was modified following the same approach. While the shift to explicit conditionality has to be welcomed, it does not lessen concerns about the ECB’s democratic accountability and its ‘interference’ in domestic reform processes. Some regards the ECB’s conditionality as a true political action departing from the standards of neutrality and independence that central banks should meet. This paper describes the set of policy instruments through which conditionality has been applied, with a view to assess the legitimacy of the ECB’s actions. This article is available at
F. D'Agostini, M. Ferrera, in il Mulino, vol. 3, 2014, pp. 467-473   This article is available at
M. Ferrera, in POLITICHE SOCIALI, vol. 3, 2014, pp. 329-352. ABSTRACT The article investigates the role played by ideational dynamics in generating the strains and tensions which have exploded during the crisis between economic integration and social protection. Drawing on the insights of Weberian theory, the article argues that a reconciliation between these two dimensions/spheres of the EU must confront two distinct intellectual challenges. First, the recognition that the EU (and EMU in particular) have irreversibly become complex adaptive systems with «emergent» properties, requiring centralized steering well beyond the current institutional status quo. Second, the search for normative principles for a correct framing of both the «democratic-ness» question and the «fairness» question in the EU. The latter is particularly important for solving the new conflict lines emerged during the crisis, i.e. between core and peripheral economies, on the one hand, and «old» vs. «new» Member States, on the other. This article is available at
F. Costamagna, in European law review, vol. 42, no. 1, 2017, pp. 101-111 ABSTRACT The article deals with the tension among market freedoms, workers' protection and regulatory competition in the context of public procurement. It does so by looking at the RegioPost judgment and by comparing it with the restrictive stance adopted by the Court in previous decisions, such as Rüffert and Bundesdruckerei. The case concerned the imposition of a minimum wage requirement in a contract relating to the collection, carriage and delivery of letters, parcels and packages in the German city of Landau in Rheinland-Pfalz. The Court held that the requirement was compatible with EU law and, in particular, with EU public procurement law, read in conjunction with the Posted Workers Directive and Treaty provisions on the free circulation of services. The line of reasoning followed by the Court can be taken as an attempt to achieve a better balance between market freedoms and social considerations in the context of public procurement by doing away with some of the excesses that characterised previous decisions. This article is available at
A. Gago, in Revista española de ciencia política, vol. 42, 2016, pp. 45-68 ABSTRACT Español: Durante la crisis de la eurozona, los gobiernos del PSOE y del PP implementaron una serie de reformas del Estado de Bienestar y del mercado laboral a cambio de ayuda financiera por parte de la Unión Europea, lo que se conoce como condicionalidad. Los sindicatos, CC. OO. y UGT, respondieron ante tales reformas como representantes de los colectivos más afectados por las mismas. Existen dos argumentos distintos que explican las estrategias de los sindicatos durante la crisis. Por una parte, se argumenta que los sindicatos utilizaron la acción política tradicional para influir en los procesos de toma de decisiones. Por otra parte, los sindicatos han puesto en marcha nuevas acciones bien de carácter transnacional o relacionadas con actividades propias de los movimientos sociales. El artículo explica por qué la crisis dio lugar a esta nueva combinación de repertorios sindicales que apelan a sectores y niveles de acción distintos. El argumento principal es que la condicionalidad de la UE dio lugar a la aparición de un nuevo régimen de decisión política que denominamos aquí «intergubernamentalismo neoliberal» por los cambios institucionales e ideológicos que trajo consigo. A su vez este nuevo régimen impactó en la estructura de oportunidad política, provocando una reorientación estratégica de los sindicatos. English: During the eurozone crisis, the PSOE’s and PP’s governments implemented a series of reforms of the Welfare State and the labour market in exchange for financial help from the EU; what is known as conditionality. The trade unions, CC. OO. and UGT, responded to these reforms as the representatives of the sectors most affected by them. There are two narratives to explain trade unions’ strategies during the crisis. On the one hand, it is argued that trade unions used traditional political action to influence political decision making processes. On the other hand, trade unions have developed new actions either of a transnational character or related to typical social movements’ activities. The article explains why the crisis led to this new combination of trade union repertories calling on different sectors and levels of action. The main argument is that the EU conditionality led to the emergence of a new political regime that we have dubbed “neoliberal intergovernmentalism” due to the institutional and ideological changes that it brought about. In turn, this new regime impacted upon the political opportunity structure, triggering a strategic reorientation of trade unions. This article is available at:

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