Social and employment policy

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


This chapter provides an overview of the development of social and employment policy from a gender equality perspective. It discusses chronological order, outlining the shift from a regulatory approach towards softer forms of policy coordination in which gender has purportedly been mainstreamed, and shows that both approaches hold significant weaknesses from a gender perspective. The early years were characterised by Commission entrepreneurship, backed up later by emerging networks within the European institutions or sponsored by them. The 1974 Social Action Programme (SAP) laid the basis for around 30 proposals for legislative action over three to four years. The 1987 Single European Act (SEA) extended the use of Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in the Council to measures supporting the construction of the single market (Article 100 of the SEA), and the definition of health and safety - initially a technical standard - was broadened to encompass wider working and living conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Gender and EU Politics
EditorsGabriele Abels, Andrea Krizsan, Heather MacRae, Anna van der Vleuten
Place of PublicationAbingdon, U. K.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351049948
ISBN (Print)9781138485259
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Gabriele Abels, Andrea Krizsán, Heather MacRae and Anna van der Vleuten; individual chapters, the contributors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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