The Regulation on the Provision of Emergency Support within the Union: Humanitarian Assistance and Financial Solidarity in the Refugee Crisis09 Oct 2016
A. Miglio, European Papers, 27 September 2016, pp. 1-12 ABSTRACT Regulation 2016/369 establishes an emergency support mechanism for the provision of humanitarian aid in response to natural or man-made disasters giving rise to severe wide-ranging humanitarian consequences within the European Union. Although its scope of application is much broader, the Regulation has been adopted as an emergency measure for the management of the ongoing refugee crisis. It is therefore promising to look at the newly established mechanism against the background of other measures adopted or proposed in response to the crisis. In this perspective, the Regulation appears to fit within an overall strategy whereby Union funding is used as an instrument of policy-making to bring about further centralization. Finally, the analysis of the mechanism, which is meant to provide support to Member States “in a spirit of solidarity”, suggests a few conclusions on the meaning of the principle of solidarity and its implications in the context of the refugee crisis. It is suggested that two very different visions of solidarity, an emergency-driven and a structural one, coexist and may interact with each other in two ways. the paper is avbailable here.
Brexit e il dilemma del prigioniero: sulla revocabilità della notifica del recesso prevista dall’art. 50 TUE09 Nov 2016
A. Miglio, federalismi.it, 21 September 2016 ABSTRACT Nelle settimane successive al referendum del 23 giugno 2016 sulla permanenza del Regno Unito nell’Unione europea ha preso avvio una vasta produzione dottrinale dedicata all’esame delle molte e intricate questioni giuridiche sollevate dall’esito della consultazione popolare. Ha tuttavia finora attratto scarsa attenzione, almeno in termini relativi, il quesito se la notifica dell’intenzione di uno Stato membro di recedere dall’Unione possa essere revocata: sia i commenti all’art. 50 TUE sia nel la maggior parte dei primi contributi successivi al referendum, ancorché con alcune eccezioni tale problema è stato infatti trattato soltanto marginalmente, quando non del tutto ignorato. Ciò appare tuttavia sorprendente. Per effetto dell’articolazione della procedura di recesso delineata dall’art. 50 TUE, determinare se la notifica produca effetti definitivi assume infatti una importanza cruciale sotto due profili: per un verso, l’incertezza su tale punto determina un forte disincentivo a notificare il recesso; per altro verso, la configurabilità della revoca è evidentemente suscettibile di incidere sull’esito finale del procedimento, comportando l’eventualità che, ritirando la notifica, lo Stato interessato possa ritornare sui propri passi e decidere di restare membro dell’Unione pur avendo invocato il diritto di recesso. The article is available here.
24 Oct 2016
M. Ferrera, Journal of European Social Policy October 2016 26: 374-383 ABSTRACT Southern Europe and East Asia are two distinct groups of nations which share a number of striking family resemblances warranting a close investigation. Such resemblances form a relatively coherent set best captured through the concepts of familialism and familial welfare state. A cross-regional comparison of Italy, Japan, Spain and Korea leads to interesting results in both descriptive and explanatory terms, highlighting the role played by culture and religion as well as by the compressed modernization which characterized the four countries during the 20th century. The comparative exercise of this Special Issue offers a significant contribution to the wider field of welfare research. It reshuffles the cards of the traditional ‘world of welfare capitalism’ debate, shows the significance of region-level (as opposed to nation-level) variables and invites a specification of temporal arguments in institutional transformations. The article is available here.
M. Ferrera, In Biblioteca della Libertà. 214, settembre-dicembre 2015 ABSTRACT The intra-EU mobility of workers/persons is becoming an increasingly contentious and polarizing issue and is occupying the center stage in the so-called Brexit debate. Challenging the principle of free movement is no trivial matter. What is actually put in question are not only the foundational pillars of the single market, but of the EU as such, understood as a single (would-be) polity. The aim of this paper is to offer an analytical framing of this challenge. Section 1 provides a brief historical reconstruction of welfare state building at the national level, highlighting the salience of boundaries and of the “bounding-bonding” nexus. It also discusses the impact of European integration on the intra-EU boundary configuration in the sphere of solidarity. Section 2 illustrates the state of play as regards mobility, summarizing the findings of empirical research on the economic and financial implications of free movement and of the social security coordination regime. Section 3 argues that – in addition to economic efficiency – the principle/logic that underpins free movement is that of “hospitality”, rather than the more general principle of solidarity. The section then discusses some unintended practical implications that follow from the logic of hospitality and that lie at the basis of the increasing contentiousness around free movement. Section 4 discusses possible institutional remedies for containing political contention. The underlying assumption is that the preservation of free movement is key for the survival of the EU qua political association/community and that such preservation must be the object of an essentially political (and not merely functional) strategy on the side of EU authorities. The conclusion wraps up. The paper is available here.
M. Ferrera, in Journal of European Public Policy, published online on 19 September 2016. ABSTRACT Reorienting the welfare state towards social investment (SI) constitutes a complex and multidimensional challenge of policy recalibration and raises daunting political problems. The temporal mismatch between SI reforms and their returns requires a degree of ‘political patience’ on the side of both current voters and incumbent politicians which is not readily available in contemporary democracies. After reviewing recent debates about the policy and politics of the long term, the article analyzes the strategy pursued by the European Union (EU), with a view to assessing their degree of ‘conduciveness’ to SI recalibration. It is argued that the EU has indeed stimulated policy change at the national level, but that its potential as SI facilitator has been hamstrung by a number of weaknesses and shortcomings, especially on the discursive front. A more convinced and articulated endorsement of the social investment paradigm and a more focused attention to ‘capacity’ at the subnational and grass-root level should be the fronts to prioritize. The paper is available here.
M. Ferrera, in West European Politics, Vol. 37, issue 4, 2014, pp. 825-843. ABSTRACT The article starts by identifying the main institutional components of the (elusive) concept of Social Europe: the ‘National Social Spaces’, i.e. the social protection systems of the member states; the ‘EU Social Citizenship Space’, i.e. the coordination regime that allows all EU nationals to access the social benefits of other member states when they exercise free movement; the ‘Regional Social Spaces’, i.e. sub-national and/or trans-regional social policies; and the ‘EU Social Policy’ proper. Based on such reconceptualisation, the article then revisits the main analytical insights and substantive findings of the volume’s contributions, focusing in particular on dynamics of ‘social re-bounding’ during the crisis, on national implementation processes, on the relevance of ‘fits’ and ‘misfits’ for social policy compliance and on issues of democratic control. In the conclusion, some suggestions for future research and for the EU’s social agenda are put forward.
21 May 2015
M. Ferrera, in Il Mulino, 2/15, 2015, pp. 383-391. ABSTRACT Peter Mair è stato uno dei più importanti politologi della mia generazione. La sua prematura scomparsa ha lasciato un grosso vuoto intellettuale fra gli studiosi di politica comparata e sistemi di partito, i campi d’indagine da lui prediletti. Nell’ultima fase della sua riflessione, Peter si era focalizzato sulla crisi della democrazia dei partiti e in particolare su una delle sue principali manifestazioni: la grande biforcazione fra responsiveness e responsibility . Col primo termine s’intende la capacità dei partiti di rispondere, reagire in modo simpatetico alle domande degli elettori, della pubblica opinione, dei gruppi di interesse. Con il secondo termine s’intende invece la capacità sia di rispettare il patto elettorale sia di risolvere i problemi collettivi (governare), tenendo conto anche delle istanze di “collettivi”, dai mercati internazionali all’Unione europea, diversi da quello nazionale. Per Mair, nell’ultimo ventennio è diventato sempre più difficile conciliare queste due funzioni, con il risultato che alcuni partiti (cosiddetti mainstream, di centro-sinistra e di centro-destra) si sono “cartellizzati” e specializzati sul versante della responsabilità, spesso tramite governi di grande coalizione e comunque perdendo i legami con la società. Altri partiti (pensiamo ai partiti neo-populisti) si sono invece specializzati sul versante della responsiveness, intercettando e cavalcando gli orientamenti, spesso emotivi, dell’opinione pubblica e ignorando totalmente i vincoli della responsabilità. Ciò che si perde in questa trasformazione è la presenza di un’opposizione capace di porsi come alternativa reale di governo: elemento fondamentale per l’equilibrio e l’effettività della politica democratica.
27 Mar 2015
M. Ferrera, in Constellations, Vol. 21, Issue 2, 2014, pp. 222–238. ABSTRACT The nation-based welfare state (NBWS) and the European Union (EU) are two precious legacies of the 20th century. Their mutual relationship is however fraught by unresolved tensions (and a potential “clash”), which the recent crisis has been markedly exacerbating. When, how and why did the original “elective affinity” between the WS and the EU spheres start to weaken? Is “reconciliation” possible and how? These questions lie at the centre of current academic and public debates. The WS serves essential economic, social and political functions. But the financing of its programmes strains public budgets and raises sustainability challenges, especially in the wake of growing demographic ageing. The EU (EMU in particular) is in its turn essential for growth, jobs and macro-economic stability, but tends to undermine the WS’s very institutional foundation: the sovereign right of the state to determine the boundaries, forms and extent of national solidarity, including tax and spending levels. The aim of this article is to cast new light on such issues by focusing on the “intellectual” logic which has guided WS-building, on the one hand, and EU-building, on the other, and by highlighting the responsibility of this logic in generating the clash. Drawing on Weber’s insights on the relationship between ideas, values and politics, I will try to reconnect these three elements for interpreting the current predicament and for putting forward some suggestions on how to overcome it. The article is organised as follows. The next section presents the topic and the approach. The second section illustrates the ideational logics which have guided, respectively, the development of the welfare state at the national level and the process of economic integration at the supranational level. Thethird and fourth sections will in turn summarize my diagnosis and outline an agenda for intellectual “work” on both the epistemic and axiological fronts, which I see as a prerequisite for responsible and effective political choices. The conclusion wraps up.
M. Ferrera, in Politiche Sociali, vol. 3, issue 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.