De La Porte, Caroline and Pochet, Philippe. (2001) "Pension reforms at European level: Actors, discourses and outcomes". In: UNSPECIFIED, Madison, Wisconsin. (Unpublished)
The question that we would like to address in this paper is why an area so nationally embedded as pensions now (since 1999) appears to be one of the key issues on the European social agenda. The hypothesis in this paper is that it is not a dynamic that emanates from the social domain, but instead, from the economic area. It is not a classical spillover effect, but a struggle to control this field that has just entered the European arena. The inter-linked debates on the reform of pension systems within the European arena have, on the one hand, led to a broad and shared consensus between the social and economic actors on the necessity of having a "three pillar system", inspired by the World Bank's approach to pensions. On the other hand, besides this very general consensus, the key question is how to consider pension reform; in other words, how to define the challenges and to formulate solutions at a European level. The ECOFIN Ministers would like to restrict the scope to financial sustainability, while the Social Council is trying to agree upon and to develop a broader definition, encompassing intergenerational solidarity.
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