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The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of European Law and Policy

The Treaty of Lisbon and the Future of European Law and Policy

Edited by Martin Trybus and Luca Rubini

This comprehensive and insightful book discusses in detail the many innovations and shortcomings of the historic Lisbon version of the Treaty on European Union and what is now called the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Chapter 20: The Internal Market and the Welfare State: Anything New after Lisbon?

Francesco Costamagna

Subjects: law - academic, european law


Francesco Costamagna 1. THE EUROPEAN INTEGRATION PROCESS AND THE WELFARE STATE: SOME INTRODUCTORY REMARKS Europe has traditionally been seen as the cradle of the welfare state, as well as the place where the model found its apex. The establishment of schemes for the provision of social protection services to the population started at the end of the nineteenth century with the introduction of compulsory social insurance,1 first in Germany and then in other European States.2 However, it was after World War II that the welfare state enjoyed its ‘golden age’,3 finding express recognition in the constitutions of some European States.4 At that moment, the provision of welfare services was not simply meant to address the considerable material needs of peoples that had been badly affected by the war, but it represented a powerful tool to create stronger bonds between citizens and national institutions, and, consequently, to uphold States’ democratic credentials. Therefore, it is far from surprising that European States were extremely anxious to guard their ‘social sovereignty’ against any external intrusion. These concerns were also very much present during the negotiations leading to the adoption of the Treaty of Rome of 1957 that established the European Economic Community (EEC). After an intense debate, the final 1 Ferrera, Maurizio (2005), The Boundaries of Welfare: European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection, Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 54, points out that ‘[s]ocial insurance was a real institutional breakthrough in the history of the European nation state’....

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