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Georg Fischer

For a long time the European policy mainstream focused on economic policy issues, competitiveness and fiscal stability. The serious social impacts of the financial and economic crisis, together with its political repercussions, have led the European Union (EU) leadership to pay more attention to social policy marked by the Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights by the European Union Institutions in November 2017. This chapter reviews the characteristics of this ‘biggest social crisis’ and why this crisis necessitated a European Union high-level response. The chapter summarizes the messages of the Pillar of Social Rights document, discusses the respective roles of the European and national level, reviews means of implementation, and concludes with a discussion of proposals for EU measures going beyond the present framework linked to the broader debate about the future architecture of European Economic and Monetary Union.