Seeking a new balance

Juho Saari and Kari Välimäki

in The Europeanisation of social protection

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9781847420206
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303794 | DOI:
Seeking a new balance

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  • Comparative and Historical Sociology


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European social policy has evolved significantly since the late 1980s, when the idea of a social dimension to the EU emerged onto European policy agendas. By the turn of the early 1990s, the common points of departure were the concepts of subsidiarity and proportionality, both of which underlined the limited competence of the European level to proceed in this field. Today, following the introduction of the Lisbon Strategy and the open method of coordination (OMC), attention has been focused on the social aspects of European integration at the European level. This chapter discusses and clarifies the key issues debated in the previous chapters and aims to draw together some policy conclusions. It begins by discussing the European social model concept, and assesses its potential usefulness in European social policy debates, identifying at least ten of its dimensions. The chapter ends with policy conclusions on the question of whether there is a need for new balance in social policy between the Member States and the EU.

Keywords: European social policy; social dimension; EU; European policy agendas; subsidiarity; Lisbon Strategy; OMC; policy conclusions; European social model; Member States

Chapter.  6785 words. 

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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