Social Models in the Enlarged EU
This paper considers the impact of the developments of the last 20 years on the nature of social models in the EU as categorized by the traditional Anglo-Saxon, Continental, Nordic and Southern regimes. It looks in particular at the impact of enlargement, globalisation and the pressures within the EU for harmonisation. In order to consider whether the addition of the new member states constitutes a further separate model it looks at the case of healthcare in Poland, the Czech Republic and Estonia. The conclusion is that neat categorisation is becoming increasingly difficult as countries adopt characteristics of other regimes and develop different parts of the social welfare system in different ways. While there is some element of increasing similarity, distinct regimes continue and it would not be realistic to talk about a single European social model in further research on the implications for democracy in the framework of the RECON project.
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