Chapter 10: The Lisbon Agenda on Social Policy: Revitalizing the European Social Model
Jos Berghman In a seminal policy paper written on the occasion of a conference on ‘The European Identity in a Global Economy’, held in Sintra, Portugal, in February 2000 in preparation for the Lisbon Summit under the Portuguese presidency, Manuel Castells argued that there is a need for ‘a common European identity on whose behalf citizens around Europe could be ready to share problems and build common solutions’ (Castells, 2002: 234). He wondered, though, how such an identity could either be found or built. Since religion, a common language, or a shared history are not obvious candidates for a quest of this kind, he explored other possibilities. It was only in the realm of values that Castells could identify a cluster of elements that looked promising. This cluster refers to the welfare state and explicitly embraces social protection. It consists of: shared feelings concerning the need for universal social protection of living conditions, social solidarity, stable employment, workers’ rights, universal human rights, concern about poor people around the world, extension of democracy to regional and local levels, with a renewed emphasis in citizen participation, the defence of historically rooted cultures, often expressed in linguistic terms. If European institutions would be able to promote these values, and to accord life with these promises for all Europeans, probably the ‘project identity’ would grow (Castells, 2002: 234–5) Castells is aware that some of these elements are being rethought, the welfare state among them. Yet, in identifying the latter as a common value...
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