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The Europeanisation of Reconciliation Policies in France: Boasting… But Learning

Abstract : France has a reputation for having generous family policies and was considered to be a pioneer in ‘reconciliation policies before they even came to be known by this term. Although they were created for other purposes (i.e. education and natalism), French policies indirectly favour women's participation in the labour market. One might thus expect that Europe would not have had a significant influence on French policies, even after the emergence of the reconciliation issue on the European agenda. However, despite conditions that would preclude any EU influence on French family policies (a small ‘misfit’ in the content of the policies, and a reluctance to refer to Europe), we show that family policies have been constantly reformed in France in recent decades in a direction that brings them closer to the EU model. Our approach, which looks at the usage of European resources within the national reform processes, shows how some important actors have seized the opportunities and concepts provided by the EU on reconciliation policies in order to remain central actors at the French level. The introduction of references to Europe has contributed to a reframing of the French debate and policies. Even though natalism is still central to many actors' concerns, the employment rate of women, and to a lesser extent gender equality, have become new driving forces within French family policy.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 4:01:02 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 3:34:07 AM

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Sophie Jacquot, Clémence Ledoux, Bruno Palier. The Europeanisation of Reconciliation Policies in France: Boasting… But Learning. European Journal of Social Security, Intersentia, 2011, 13 (1), pp.69-88. ⟨10.1177/138826271101300104⟩. ⟨hal-03632932⟩

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