Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda
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Europe, Globalization and the Lisbon Agenda

Edited by Maria João Rodrigues

The Lisbon Agenda aims to prepare Europe for globalization by updating European policies for research, innovation, competition, trade, employment, education, social protection, environment and energy at both the European and national levels. Designed to inspire the new cycle of the Lisbon Agenda until 2010 and beyond, this timely and significant volume explores the intellectual elaboration of the agenda for the coming years.
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Chapter 3: Toward a Sustainable European Social Model: Key Issues for Policy-Making

Maria João Rodrigues


3. Towards a sustainable European social model: key issues for policy-making Maria João Rodrigues The reform of the European social model is one of the most complex issues in the general debate about the future of Europe. The model is the product of a long and complex historical attempt to promote economic growth with social justice. Briefly, social policy is about social justice and contributing to growth and competitiveness. Conversely, growth and competitiveness are crucial for and should be designed to support social policy. Economic and social policies evolve over time and are therefore always part of the political debate and social dialogue. This is the European tradition, an achievement that is valued inside and outside Europe because of its contribution to prosperity and quality of life. Many different models have emerged from this tradition. The most wellknown typologies refer to the Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, Continental and South European models (Esping-Andersen in Rodrigues, 2002; Sakellaropoulos and Berghman, 2004). Despite the differences between them, they share certain features, so that one can speak of the European social model. These are: increased general access to education and training; regulated labour contracts; general access to social protection and healthcare; active policies for social inclusion; social dialogue procedures; and the predominance of public funding via taxes or social contributions, with a redistributive effect. These elements were shaped differently in each historical period, depending on existing institutional frameworks and actors, and on their responses to the strategic challenges of their...

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