The European Social Model and its Dilution as a Result of EU Enlargement
TIGER Working Paper Series No. 105
21 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2007
Date Written: July 2007
Social and labour market policies are not part of the obligations of European Union membership, or acquis communautaire; they are left to the discretion of member states. Yet both official EU documents and economic literature on types of capitalism refer to the European Social Model (ESM): for instance, a document of the Nice European Council of December 2000 states "The European social model, characterised in particular by systems that offer a high level of social protection, by the importance of social dialogue and by services of general interest covering activities vital for social cohesion, is today based, beyond the diversity of the Member States' social systems, on a common core of values" (European Council, 2000, para. 11, p.4). This characterisation was emphasised in the Barcelona summit of 2002 and on many other occasions, such as in European Parliament 2006.
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