Brexit, the end of history and the Constitution of Social Europe: critical reflections on the Social Pillar and its limits

Mason, L. 2018. Brexit, the end of history and the Constitution of Social Europe: critical reflections on the Social Pillar and its limits. Lex Social. 8 (2), pp. 311-340.

TitleBrexit, the end of history and the Constitution of Social Europe: critical reflections on the Social Pillar and its limits
TypeJournal article
AuthorsMason, L.
Abstract

This article analyses Brexit and the declaration of the European Pillar of Social Rights from the perspective of constitutional and economic theory of labour law. It concludes that both events are constitutional moments, in that they are examples of political choices in which values of a political community are expressed in some symbolic form. However, it is argued that the Social Pillar is merely the latest example of a serious failing in European social policy, in which existential constitutional statements of values are prioritised ahead of ontological constitutional frameworks which create the necessary economic and social actors and institutions to achieve those very social goals. The success of the internal market was built on the clear legal establishment of economic actors and rights, based on the influential constitutional ideas of ordoliberal economic thought and its innate legal theory. In contrast, the European Social Model is based on the assumption of the existence of stable employment relationships, however European Union law does not make any serious attempt to construct or guarantee such relationships. In part, this is due to methodological errors within labour law scholarship. To succeed, Social Europe should focus on the creation of a European Employment Contract. Cet article analyse le Brexit et la proclamation du Socle européen des droits sociaux du point de vue de la théorie constitutionnelle et économique du droit social. Il conclut que ces deux événements sont des ? moments constitutionnels ?, en ce sens que ce sont des exemples de choix politiques où les valeurs d'une collectivité politique sont exprimées sous forme symbolique. Cependant, l?auteur du présent article soutient que le Socle des droits sociaux n'est que l?exemple le plus récent d'une défaillance sérieuse de la politique sociale européenne, dans laquelle les énoncés existentiels constitutionnels de valeurs sont prioritaires par rapport aux cadres constitutionnels ontologiques qui créent les acteurs économiques et sociaux nécessaires pour atteindre ces mêmes objectifs sociaux. Le succès du marché intérieur s?est fondé sur l'établissement juridique clair d'acteurs et de droits économiques, une structure fondée sur les idées constitutionnelles influentes de la pensée économique ordolibérale et de sa théorie juridique innée. En revanche, le modèle social européen se fond sur l'hypothèse de l'existence de rapports d'emploi stables, mais le droit de l'Union européenne ne fait aucune tentative sérieuse, ni pour construire ni pour garantir de tels rapports. Cela est dû en partie à des erreurs méthodologiques dans le droit social. Pour atteindre ses buts, l'Europe sociale devrait se concentrer sur la création d'un contrat de travail européen.

KeywordsBrexit; Social Pillar; European Social Model; Constitutional Theory
JournalLex Social
Journal citation8 (2), pp. 311-340
ISSN2174-6419
Year2018
PublisherUniversidad Pablo de Olavide
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Web address (URL)https://www.upo.es/revistas/index.php/lex_social/article/view/3497
Publication dates
Published2018

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