IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

European social model(s) and social Europe

Listed author(s):
  • Catherine Mathieu

    ()

    (OFCE - OFCE - Sciences Po)

  • Henri Sterdyniak

    ()

    (OFCE - OFCE - Sciences Po)

There seems to be a broad consensus in Europe that there is a European Social Model (ESM), typical of European societies and that this model should be protected and developed. But the ESM is an ambiguous notion: is it a simple description of the actual state of European societies? Is this a normative concept? Is it consistent with contemporary evolution marked by economic globalization and liberalization? Is this a political project? Section 1 provides an assessment of 'the European Social Model'. This model has different patterns among EU-15 countries. The generally adopted classification (Esping-Andersen, 1990) sets out four social models in Europe: liberal, continental, Scandinavian and Mediterranean. Are the four models variants of a single ESM? Section 2 compares their economic and social performances. The best economic performances are obtained by the Liberals and the Scandinavian countries; Scandinavian countries have also the best social performance. The economic performances of continental model countries are poor. Are they condemned to evolue to the liberal model, or can they move towards the Scandinavian model? Can this model be implemented in all larger open, heterogeneous and with high unemployment countries? Section 3 discusses the need to adapt the ESM to new economic and social challenges: the ageing of populations, the rising trend in health spending, the change in family structures, the rising trend in social exclusion, the persistence of mass unemployment in some countries, of low fertility rates in some others. The section presents the actual debates, national or European, about reforms of pension system, health system, unemployment benefits, family policy and anti-poverty flight. Section 4 presents the actual situation of 'Social Europe'. This expression may refer to the current actions of European Institutions. It may also refer to a political project: increasing gradually the level of Europe's intervention in social fields. But the objective may be to 'modernise social protection', i.e. to reduce its field and costs, or on the contrary to progressively implement common social norms in all Member States in order to reach a high and similar social protection level. The single market makes it more and more difficult for national protection systems to coexist. The respective roles of national and European institutions in the evolution of the ESM (or ESMs) are discussed. The current European strategy - the social Agenda and the Open method of coordination (OMC) - remains disconnected from national debates and reforms. Can they become more democratic and more powerful? The conclusion presents two views on the future of the ESM. The first suggests a new architecture of welfare states in Europe, inspired by the Scandinavian model, so the impact of social protection as a productive factor increases. The second stresses the importance of guaranteeing social cohesion in the Member States, by reducing income inequalities and ensuring a high level of social protection. Yet, the improvement of the European economic framework and the development of the Social Europe are not technical issues. They require a major change in the economic policy thinking and a new alliance between social classes concerned about full employment and social cohesion.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00973054/document
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00973054.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00973054
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-sciencespo.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00973054
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/8811 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Henri L.F. de Groot & Richard Nahuis & Paul J.G. Tang & John Fitz Gerald, 2006. "Is the American Model Miss World? Choosing Between the Anglo-Saxon Model and a European-Style Alternative," Chapters,in: Competitiveness and Growth in Europe, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  3. Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak, 2007. "How to Deal With Economic Divergences in EMU?," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 4(2), pages 281-307.
  4. Scharpf, Fritz W., 2002. "The European Social Model: Coping with the challenges of diversity," MPIfG Working Paper 02/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  5. André Sapir, 2006. "Globalization and the Reform of European Social Models," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 369-390, 06.
  6. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2005. "Civic attitudes and the Design of Labor Market Institutions? Which Countries can Implement the Danish Flexicurity Model?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0517, CEPREMAP.
  7. Ruud de Mooij, 2006. "Reinventing the welfare state," CPB Special Publication 60, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00973054. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.