The Europeanisation of Welfare: Paradigm Shifts and Social Policy Reforms

  • Luis Moreno
  • Bruno Palier

Abstract

The process of Europeanisation implies convergence across EU member states. This is to be achieved mainly through structural economic harmonisation and institutional system-building. This chapter deals with contemporary welfare developments in the European social model. We identify the major changes affecting European countries both functionally (in terms of policy integration), and territorially (as regard multi-level governance), and go on to consider EU initiatives in social policy-making. New policies aimed at co-ordinating employment and social policies at the European level seek to bridge the dichotomies between the economic and the social and between the national and the European. Hence, while a paradigm shift in macro-economic policies has enabled monetary centralisation and a growing convergence of EU internal ‘open’ markets, the decentralisation of welfare programmes has also aimed at meeting demands for territorial subsidiarity. Reforms related to the emergence of what may be termed new social risks may provide EU institutions with opportunities to make social policy reforms consistent with the new economic policy orientations, while respecting national diversity. In the concluding section we discuss the extent of convergence in social policy paradigms across European countries.

Keywords

Europe Income Coherence Stein Arena 

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© Luis Moreno & Bruno Palier 2005

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  • Luis Moreno
  • Bruno Palier

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