ENLIGHTEN (European Legitimacy in Governing through Hard Times: the role of European Networks) brings together eight universities and civil society partners from all over Europe. CEU – in cooperation with Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Housing Europe (CECODHAS) is responsible for work package three titled “Deficit Reduction and the Continuity of Public Services”.
The ENLIGHTEN project is concerned with the legitimacy of European governance in dealing with fast and slow-burning crises. Fast burning crises are readily identified – they are the political and economic shocks of recent years. In slow-burning crises the political, social and economic challenges are long-term and widespread, but do not generate immediate political attention. In these ‘crises’, such as the sustainability of fiscal systems, the ageing of populations, and lack of public investment in areas such as housing and health care, expert networks are also important in defining problems and how they should be treated.
CEU’s researchers are involved in work package three and examine the impact of fast- and slow-burning crises on public service provision in the EU. The research focuses on health care and housing as two areas that have experienced far-reaching reforms over recent decades but have fallen outside the scope of traditional welfare state research. The research looks beyond policy outputs and explores the discourses that allow governments to avoid popular backlash and expert non-cooperation even when implementing controversial reforms.