Before and After the Economic Crisis
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Before and After the Economic Crisis

What Implications for the ‘European Social Model’?

Edited by Marie-Ange Moreau

This timely book casts new light on the key issues arising from the contentious debate around the future of the European Social Model. The book brings together leading experts to provide a thorough and well-informed response to the recent developments in European social and labour law and policy, in the light of institutional changes. The contributors provide unique insights as they evaluate the impact of the enlargement processes, the implications of the Lisbon treaty, the integration of the Charter into EU law – and, crucially, the consequences of the economic crisis.
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Chapter 19: Conclusion: ‘Europe’s Awakening’

Alain Supiot


19. Conclusion: Europe’s awakening Alain Supiot Kant explains that it is the reading of Hume which drew him out of his dogmatic sleep.1 This famous statement suffices to remind us that the most invaluable resources of Europe are not in the vaults of the banks, but in the minds of its citizens, who think in several languages2 and converse beyond the borders. Brian Bercusson and Iota Kravaritou belonged to those European citizens, whose thoughts were directed at how to take Europe out of the dogmatic sleep into which it is falling again. They both left us in 2008, after years of tireless work devoted to the building of a more humane and more supportive Europe. The year of 2008 was also a year of the unprecedented disruption in the building of the so-called ‘social Europe’. In fact, the disruption was double. First, the European Court of Justice withdrew from the promise contained in the Treaty of Rome of improving ‘living and working conditions, so as to make possible their harmonization, while the improvement is being maintained’,3 and switched to ultra-liberal ideology dismantling social rights. The second was the ideological and financial failure of this ultra-liberal doctrine. It is between these two events, on 26 February, that I met Brian Bercusson for the last time. It was in Paris where Brian had come to teach for a few weeks. Our conversation was largely focused on the Viking and Laval judgments, which the Court of Justice had just delivered. This harsh...

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