Europe’s social integration

Welfare models and economic transformations

Book

04/10/2022

The European social model has been subjected to diverse debates, often doubting its existence or announcing the end of such a model. Published by FEPS in association with the London Publishing Partnership, this book examines the four factors that have challenged the fate of welfare states and social standards in Europe: neoliberal globalization, monetary union, Eastern enlargement and digitalization. 

As FEPS Secretary General and former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, the author represents the rare combination of a top policymaker and a profoundly knowledgeable political economist. Andor’s book offers both first-rate analysis and imaginative ideas for the reforms needed to cope with these four factors. 

He leads us through the “ups” of post-World War II policy design in the West, and the bold initiatives for a “Social Europe” by Jacques Delors, before going on to examine the EU-wide “downs” due to cultural neo-conservatism, the ill-conceived free market experiment in the East, and the trajectory of EU macro governance. 

Having taken stock of some of the main threats to Europe’s social models, the book delivers chapters explaining how the EU social dimension was strengthened in response to two recent crises: first, the 2009 great recession and the subsequent eurozone crisis, and more recently the dramatic outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It appears that major economic transformations and, in particular, the risk of intra-EU imbalances, divergence and polarisation drive social policy integration among European countries. The author highlights where common EU policy can be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem – which was too often the case in the past.

You can find the book here.

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