Chapter

Setting the Scene

Tony Atkinson, Bea Cantillon, Eric Marlier and Brian Nolan

in Social Indicators

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780199253494
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191595882 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199253498.003.0001
 						Setting the Scene

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The purpose of this book is to make a scientific contribution to the development of social indicators as part of the social agenda in the EU. It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of different indicators relevant to social inclusion in Europe, and their usefulness in promoting good practice by member state governments and allowing comparable assessment of social outcomes. The aim is that the book will play a role in widening public debate about the social dimension of Europe, will be of value to the social partners, to non‐governmental and grass‐roots organizations, and to the socially disadvantaged. It seeks to provide both a constructive background document at a crucial stage in the evolution of the social dimension of the EU and a reference work of continuing value. This first chapter sets the scene, providing background information about social indicators and about the development of the social agenda in the EU; in particular, it seeks to make clear both what the book tries to achieve and what it is not intended to provide. The four sections of the chapter (1) introduce social indicators, (2) look at social policy in Europe, (3) discuss the development of the European social agenda since the agreement reached by the Lisbon European Council in March 2000 that the EU should adopt for the next decade the strategic goal of becoming ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge‐based economy . . . with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’, and (4) provide an outline of the structure of the book.

Keywords: EU; social agenda; social agenda; social dimension; social inclusion; social indicators; social policy

Chapter.  4668 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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