Towards a just Europe

A theory of distributive justice for the European Union

By João Labareda

Towards a just Europe
Hardcover +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526152619
  • Publish Date: Jan 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Paperback +
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526174505
  • Publish Date: Oct 2023
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £25.00
  • ISBN: 9781526152602
  • Publish Date: Jan 2021
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5260-2
    • Published Date: January 2021
    • Series: European Politics


    This highly original book constitutes one of the first attempts to examine the problem of distributive justice in the European Union in a systematic manner. João Labareda argues that the set of shared political institutions at EU level, including the European Parliament and the Court of Justice of the EU, generate democratic duties of redistribution among EU citizens. Furthermore, the economic structure of the EU, comprising a common market, a common currency and a free-movement area, triggers duties of reciprocity among member states. The responsibilities to fulfil these duties, Labareda argues, should be shared by the local, national and supranational levels of government. Not only should the EU act as a safety net to the national welfare systems, applying the principle of subsidiarity, but common market and Eurozone regulations should balance their efficiency targets with fair cooperation terms.

    The concrete policy proposals presented in this book include a threshold of basic goods for all EU citizens, an EU labour code, a minimum EU corporate tax rate and an EU fund for competitiveness. Labarada argues that his proposals match the political culture of the member states, are economically feasible, can be translated into functioning institutions and policies and are consistent with the limited degree of social solidarity in Europe. This book is a major contribution to the understanding of what a just Europe would look like and what it might take to get us there.

    This book is relevant to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 10, Reduced inequalities


    Labareda's book is a rare thing, combining sophisticated philosophical argumentation with concrete policy proposals (including a European minimum income and a harmonized corporate tax). There is no book published to date that is as successful at combining philosophical, empirical, and policy perspectives.
    Professor Andrea Sangiovanni, King's College London

    Labareda's argument for distributive justice in the European Union combines a sober analysis of the Union's institutional features with a bold vision of policies it ought to adopt in order to live up to its social commitments. A must read not only for political theorists but also for EU scholars and social policy actors.
    Rainer Bauböck, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

    A novel and sophisticated defence of distributive justice in the European Union. Ambitious and nuanced, Labareda is sensitive to both matters of principle and empirical constraints. His book will be an excellent guide for both political theorists and policy-makers thinking about the future of Europe beyond the nation state.
    Professor Lea Ypi, London School of Economics and Political Science


    Introduction: The problem of distributive justice in the EU
    1 Two distributive duties
    2 Democratic redistribution in the EU
    3 Economic reciprocity in the EU
    4 A moderate feasibility test for normative theory
    5 Realizing distributive justice in the EU
    Conclusion: Towards a just Europe



    João Labareda is a policy officer at the European Commission. Previously, he was the Chair of the Council Working Party on EFTA and a speechwriter to the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

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