What Implications for the ‘European Social Model’?
Edited by Marie-Ange Moreau
Chapter 1: Introduction
Marie-Ange Moreau Discussion about the future of the European Social Model (ESM) needs to be precise with this so-debated notion. If presented as ‘European social models’, the plural refers to the diversity and the differences of the national social models in Europe and the movement of classification of these models, through limited convergence or common denominators. It has been possible following Espin-Andersen to identify three different models1 for welfare policies, but the building of ‘families’ or ‘models’ of industrial relations systems and labour law systems is highly debatable, especially with 27 member states, because of the original combination in each system between industrial relations, market forces, state intervention and collective bargaining (Hyman, 2009). The book considers that the ESM is the result of the process created by EU law and EU policies: the reference here to the ESM is not just a political discourse for the future (Jepsen and Serrano, 2006) nor the common denominator of these national models. Then, even the definition giving by Hyman of the four main characteristics of the ‘European social model’, through industrial relations, market forces, state intervention and collective bargaining is useful to compare the European main tendencies with American or Japanese ones: it is elaborate from a substantial comparative and simplified analysis of the national systems, without a focalization on the process created by the EU Law and the substantial content of EU Law through the Europeanization process. The European social model is the result of a social and legal construction at the...