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The Shaky Legal Foundations for Institutional Action under the Employment, Lisbon and EU2020 Strategies

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This chapter considers the legal foundations for the EU institutions to act in the context of the Lisbon and EU2020 Strategies, including the EES (the Luxembourg European Employment Strategy). It begins by examining the formal structure provided by the Treaties for these processes and the legal basis for the resulting measures, focusing on the social strand of the three strategies. The chapter then examines the documents resulting from these strategies to see whether a legal basis is specified and, if so, what. These data are used to conclude that, outside the context of the EES, there is a remarkable absence of any express legal basis for particular EU institutions to act. Nevertheless, the European Council has assumed a pre-eminent role, pushing forward these strategies even in the absence of express competence to do so. The legitimacy of this mode of decision-making is then considered, particularly in the light of the changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 3, 2012


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