The problem of European social model in the process of integration

Leta Dromantienė

Abstract


The article emphasizes that accounts of European social policy generally present a minimalist interpretation of European Union involvement. The sovereign nation-state allows no relevant role for the EU in social policy. The Union’s sphere is market building, leaving social policy to citizen-focused, national welfare state, its sovereignty formally untouched though perhaps endangered indirectly by growing economic interdependency. Three welfare state models (liberal, social-democratic, conservative) are discussed in the article. The author highlights that the welfare states are national states.
The article defines and discusses European social model as a set of European Community and member-state legal regulations, but also as a range of practices aimed at promoting a comprehensive social policy in the European Union. The European social model has developed alongside the different steps taken towards European integration, that confirms how this model is related to EU economic and political integration.
The common values, that includes European social model, such as democracy, individual rights, free collective bargaining, equality of opportunity for all, and social welfare and solidarity are discussed in the article. The article gives the set of different elements of the European social model major of them labour law on worker’s rights, employment, equal opportunities, antidiscrimination, etc., that can be characterized as „European society“.
The progress of European social model depends on the growth of European economies, the development of knowledge societies, and the modernization of work organization that requires constant adaptation.

Keywords


Integration; Social Policy; State of Social Welfare; Social Model; Policy Harmonization

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789