European Governance and Democracy

  • Didier ChabanetEmail author


This chapter examines two areas of public policy and mobilization corresponding to the defense of the rights of migrants and unemployed people, the latter being one of the pioneer expression of the so-called alter-globalization movement. The analysis suggests that the European Union (EU), even when it constitutes an alternative space for action, is not capable of substantially modifying the balances of power and the inequalities that are part of the national spaces. To a certain extent, a counterexample is provided by the unemployed, who have succeeded in mobilizing massively at EU level over the last few years, something they had not been capable of within the member states. Overall, groups with scant resources suffer much more from their limited means of action and their isolation at national level than from EU ostracism. In this view of things, migrants are doubtless an exceptional case since the measures taken by the EU are aimed at drastically limiting the arrival and entry of non-EU migrants. The combination of the powerful integration models embodied by the states and the policy overlay of increasingly strict controls on entry into EU territory is a dual obstacle to their action and its Europeanization. Nonetheless, the constraints are never total or irreversible. In particular, mobilization of migrants in the member states is fueled by exchanges of information and ideas allowing for comparison between militant experiences on a European scale.


European Union Member State Trade Union Asylum Seeker European Parliament 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Badia Fiesolana (SPS Department)European University InstituteSan Domenico di FiesoleItaly

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