This has been recognised at earlier stages of Europeanization – for example the social charter that accompanied the Maastricht Treaty, or the interest in combining labour flexibility with new forms of labour security earlier in the present century. At present however European policy-makers are pressing on with intensifying markets with little thought to the consequences – as the treatment of working people in Greece and the other southern European countries and Ireland shows.
However, the harsh austerity measures during the euro crisis were decided by the democratically elected heads of state and government in the European Council, whereas Olivier Blanchard, chief economist of the IMF, raised serious doubts about this strategy since late 2012. Recently, the IMF even published a paper in which they justified public redistribution policies in order to mitigate the damaging effects of inequality to economic growth (link). Are we entering a period in which international technocrats care more about social inequality than elected national governments do? How do you see the relationship between social policy and democracy today?