IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Annex 6 : What future for Social Europe ?


  • Catherine Mathieu

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

  • Henri Sterdyniak

    (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)

  • Thomas Seguin

    (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS))


‘Social Europe’ has various meanings. It may refer to the current intervention of European authorities in the fields of social protection and employment legislation, as a complement or sometimes as a substitute to national institutions interventions. The role of European authorities is clearly stated in European Treaties that assert that MS remain responsible for their social protection. At the same time, the logic of European construction, the rising interdependence of economies, the interconnection of economic and monetary issues lead European authorities to tend to increase their role in social issues and to pilot ‘the modernisation’ of national social protection systems. But social Europe may also refer to a political project, aiming at increasing the power of European authorities in social areas: there would be a social Europe like there is today an economic or monetary Europe. This social Europe would lead to unify gradually European social systems. This would imply a transfer of sovereignty which would be questionable since the role of social partners would be reduced and there would be no guarantee on the content of this social Europe, possibly moving towards a liberal or social-democrat system. Social Europe may imply a step back in social democracy in Europe. At the same time the explicit recognition that Social Europe exists and that it should be managed in an open and democratic way, could be a progress as compared to a situation of constrained convergence. Last, Social Europe may refer to a political project aiming at deepening the European Social Model, by unifying social protection, redistribution and employment legislation towards the top. This could take place through the gradual introduction of social norms in each country at high and progressively similar levels. But there is no consensus in Europe on the content of this social Europe (...).

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Mathieu & Henri Sterdyniak & Thomas Seguin, 2007. "Annex 6 : What future for Social Europe ?," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/5082, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/5082

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    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. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    4. 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)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/5082. 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: (Spire @ Sciences Po Library). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.