The European Social Model

The European Social Model

Modernisation or Evolution?

Nick Adnett and Stephen Hardy

This timely book explores the development of the European Social Model and questions whether the relatively high level of social protection provided, both in terms of social welfare provision and in the creation of workers’ rights and employment regulation, is sustainable.

Chapter 1: The Development of the European Social Model

Nick Adnett and Stephen Hardy

Subjects: economics and finance, labour economics, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, economics of social policy, labour policy


1.1 INTRODUCTION This book investigates the interaction between the social and economic foundations of the European Union (EU) and traces the development of the European Social Model (ESM). Since its advent the European Economic Community (EEC), progressing as the Treaty of Rome 1957 expounded, sought to further both the social and economic interests of the peoples of Europe. To that end the ESM emerged. In the three decades since the first Social Action programme of 1974, the EU’s creation of ‘Social Europe’ has been both a controversial and a turbulent process. Some argue that this is inevitable given conflicting economic, social and political interests. Others question whether this reflects the lack of coherent analytical and philosophical foundations for social policy. This book considers these two perspectives, whilst assessing the future of the ESM within an EU of 25 (EU25) and possibly more Member States. This process of development has been affected by the dynamic role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which has manifestly sought to uphold the competing social and economic aims. Now with an enlarged Social Europe, the development of EU social and employment policy has hit a crossroads. In this book we chart the possible pitfalls and challenges, and offer pathways forward for the ESM. In assessing whether the ESM can be sustained in an expanded Union, we initially examine, in Chapter 2, the development over the last three decades, 1974–2004, of the EU’s legal decision-making methods, both old and new. Chapter 3 critically reviews...

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