Social Europe under a Northern Light

Maximilian Kiecker

Swedish and Danish social partners regularly display skepticism towards new EU legislation in the field of labor market and social policy. For example, they strongly rejected the Commission’s 2020 proposal for a minimum wage directive, even though it would have caused little need for adjustment in Sweden and Denmark. In Finland, on the other hand, the social partners regularly show more openness towards European social policy. These different preferences are surprising because Nordic countries are generally seen as ideal-typical social democratic countries that should have a natural interest in limiting social dumping. To uncover the reasons for these stances, this dissertation project compares the positioning of labor market actors in Sweden and Denmark to those in Finland. Utilizing process tracing and elite interviews, the project focuses on three policy areas: the EU social pillar, posting of workers, and macroeconomic dialogue in the post-Laval era.

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