Social Europe: From vision to vigour

FEPS Primer series - Björn Hacker

Book

29/11/2023

Find here our latest addition to the FEPS Primer series. The Primer series is made of multiple books written with an educational purpose, to help new audiences enter specific European thematic fields. Björn Hacker’s ‘Social Europe: From vision to vigour’ offers insight into how social policy is made at the EU level, the main tools used, the most important actors, and instances when this policy field has been successfully implemented in recent decades.  

The concept of ‘Social Europe’ is thoroughly explored and stressed that European integration is not simply about creating economic opportunities but also systematically improving social standards, such as employment and social protection, equal opportunities for men and women, education and training, fair working conditions, health care and social inclusion which are only some of the social issues of concern to policymakers. 

In this Primer, Hacker explores historical and contemporary definitions and concepts of Social Europe and maps the lines of conflict that a genuine European social policy has to tackle, following an arc from Willy Brandt’s plans for a European Social Union to the various hindrances that got in its way. 

The book covers the scope, forms, and main actors of the evolution of Social Europe from 1957 to today’s social policy. It offers support to readers who would like to understand the policy dynamics of the EU in this crucial field and locate the steps of social policy coordination on the landscape of broader EU politics.

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