Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Criticism of the EU’s social deficit has become more vivid than ever following the socially regres-sive handling of the 2008–10 financial and debt crisis. In 2010, Fritz Scharpf famously argued thatthe EU‘cannot be a social market economy’owing to its institutional architecture, legal features,and collective action issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has nevertheless led to a new agenda com-bining investment, social concerns, the green transition and more fiscal solidarity. However, a lotremains to be done, it is argued, to bridge the social gap. A three-pronged model is outlined to con-ceive of the EU’s role in enhancing national, inter-national and transnational social cohesion. Thepaper furthermore points to where the EU’s action must be intensified to make significant pro-gress on the way to a competitive and social market economy. In many respects, the hard politicalbattles remain to be fought.