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Issues of social inclusion and social protection were brought to the fore of political and academic discussions once again by the Treaty of Lisbon. The fight against social exclusion, the promotion of social justice and protection, as well as social cohesion are confirmed to be among the aims of the Union (Article 3 TEU). Moreover, requirements linked to the guarantee of adequate social protection and the fight against social exclusion should be considered both at the level of design and implementation of EU policies and activities (Article 9 TFEU).
The interaction between legal instruments and policy coordination in the field of social inclusion and social protection constitutes the theme of this book. The contributions essentially inquire whether there is any interaction at all, or if the two realms of law and policy of the EU function in parallel. If there is any sort of interchange between the two, in what areas is it taking place, and what does it result into? Legal and political scholars were invited to address these questions and analyse EU’s involvement in promoting social inclusion and protection. The book opens with two papers which introduce the political and legal contexts, and then focuses on the specific cases of health care, pension systems, and means of combating poverty. Each subject matter has been addressed in a complementary fashion through the lenses of juridical and political sciences, which lends the book a cross-disciplinary approach.