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Drawing on Easton’s political system approach we identify the 2004, 2009 and 2014 European elections and the financial and economic crisis as inputs to the European Union (UE) political system. On the output side, social policy has been substantially removed from the priorities of the EU political agenda already prior to the crisis. To understand this discrepancy between input and output we ask if and how inputs have altered power relationships among core actors in the system. We argue that although crisis-generated demand could have predicted European social policies becoming more relevant in order to cope with the crisis, support in form of election results empowered actors interested in deepening economic integration and austerity policies. We present new empirical data contributing to this argument from different perspectives and sources.

Paolo R. Graziano
Miriam Hartlapp
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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