Investigating the extent to which the European Union can be defined as a "highly competitive social market economy", this edited collection illustrates and tests the constitutional reverberations of Art. 3(3) of the Treaty on the European Union, and discusses its actual and potential transformative effect. In the aftermath of Brexit, and in the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the book is particularly timely and topical, offering new and deeper insights on the complex and constantly evolving social dimension of the EU, ultimately reflecting on how the objective of (re)constituting the EU as a "highly competitive social market economy" might best be achieved.

chapter |14 pages


The social market economy in the European Union. Theoretical perspectives and practical challenges

part I|69 pages

The EU social market economy

chapter 1|14 pages

The EU between market state ideals and social market economy objectives

Placing the social market economy within the Union’s constitutional history

chapter 4|17 pages

EU citizenship and the social market economy

Shifting balances

part II|225 pages

The EU social market economy

chapter 5|17 pages

W(h)ither social Europe?

Labour rights in a social market economy

chapter 7|24 pages

Social considerations in EU competition law

The protection of competition as a cornerstone of the social market economy

chapter 12|18 pages

Social considerations in EU consumer law

The legislator, the court and a rhapsody in blue

chapter 13|21 pages

Towards a more socially oriented EU copyright law

A soft paradigm shift after Lisbon?

chapter |4 pages


Taking stock and looking ahead: the future of the ‘social market economy’ in the European Union