This research cluster focused on the tension between, on the one hand, the EU’s programmatic commitment to socio-economic and ecological justice and, on the other hand, a concept of economic integration neglecting social and ecological justice. Normatively, the EU is well equipped to become a global leader for a regional integration concept which places economic integration and social and ecological justice on an equal footing. Its guarantee of economic free movement rights for persons under the condition of equal treatment for mobile citizens is only the starting point of social justice policies, and the Union pursues ecological justice as a free standing Treaty aim. In reality, the EU seems to betray these normative commitments at times. Policies promoting mobility of EU citizens reject equal treatment for all, and equality is not the main principle of EU migration policy. The development of Economic and Monetary Union, especially in response to the global crisis, is seen as endangering social cohesion, and the EU’s ecological law and policy does not always keep up with current demands for global governance.

Combining the normative constitutional perspective with empirical observant endeavours, the research programme targeted three themes through three research seminars:

  • The research seminar “Mobility and Equality – Friend or Foe” was dedicated to the question of how mobility of EU citizens and non EU migrants relates to EU’s vision of equality in diversity, especially in an enduring global economic crisis. It also offered an opportunity to engage with the EU Commission’s Mobility Package. The seminar took place on 7 June 2016 in Belfast from 13:00 – 16:15 h (for more information, including on papers, click here).

Researchers participating in this activity included:

Professor Dagmar Schiek
Professor Yvonne Galligan
Dr Bal Sokhi-Bulley

  • The research seminar “Innovative Approaches to Ecological Sustainability in the European Union: Challenges and Opportunities in a Global Economic Crisis‘’ explored both the barriers that European Union policy makers face in seeking to achieve the goal of ecological sustainability and the opportunities these create to develop innovative solutions. This seminar also examined the role that economic and community-based actors can play in ensuring that the European Union’s goals concerning ecological sustainability are being achieved at both national and regional levels within individual Member States. This seminar took place on 26 May 2017 (a report of this seminar can be found here)

Researchers participating in this activity include:

Dr Mary Dobbs
Dr Peter Doran
Dr Brian Jack
Dr Marek Martyniszyn‎

  • The research seminar “EMU, New Economic Governance and Social Justice” focused on whether the EU’s renewed social agenda, epitomised by the Pillar of Social Rights, can be aligned with the legal frame of Economic and Monetary Union, and how the EU’s original socio-economic model can be revived in a period of ongoing global economic distortions. Interdisciplinary in nature, the seminar presentations generated a timely debate on tensions at the heart of EMU governance and the extent to which the legal framework of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) needs to be changed in order to deepen the social dimension of the EU. This research seminar took place on 26 January 2018 (a report of this seminar cab be found here)

Researchers participating in this activity include:

Professor Dagmar Schiek
Dr Dieter Pesendorfer
Prof. Lee McGowan