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Social federalism, subsidiarity and open method of coordination. WP C.S.D.L.E. "Massimo D'Antona" N. 27/2005

Sakellaropoulos, Theodoros. (2005) Social federalism, subsidiarity and open method of coordination. WP C.S.D.L.E. "Massimo D'Antona" N. 27/2005. [Working Paper]

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    [From the Introduction]. The European Convention and the preparations for the new Treaty have launched a new round of debates regarding the future of Europe, European unification and consequently the European social policy. It was obvious that the discussions about the essence of the European political institutions and structures, culminating on the issue of intergovernmentalism or federalism, would certainly have had a serious impact in the pursue of the social construction of Europe. Under these circumstances, the current form of development and implementation of the European employment and social policy which is going mostly through the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) inaugurated in an integrated way by the Lisbon Council of 2000 and after, has found a new context of appraisal of its results, of its nature as well as of its future. The title as well as the concept of the present conference should be perceived as a reflection of the overall political developments. As the historical experience shows, the process and the progress of Europeanization, by itself, brings back continuously to the foreground the issue of the European social space, in other words, the issue of Europe as a social union. In our paper we attempt to raise a number of questions about the prospects of social federalism in Europe taking into consideration the experiences accumulated by other federal states, as these are presented in the recent scientific literature . We will seek to link these experiences with the evolution of the European social policy as the latter is developed after the adoption of the OMC in the field of employment and social protection. Finally, we will attempt to locate several common issues of future initiatives. It is obvious that the projection of the federalist social experience onto social-political design with the form of OMC that takes place within non-federalist social structures, it appears as an extremely difficult undertaking. For this reason, our main aim is mostly to articulate some questions –not all– and to attempt to provide some preliminary answers. The first question that I want to pose refers to what we mean with the term social federalism, within the European context. This is a prerequisite so as to form a common base of understanding and dialogue.The second question, which includes a series of sub-questions, refers to the experience of social federalism in other countries. What conclusions, if any, can we draw from these, and what is their use for the European social policy? Does social federalism contribute to higher levels of social protection? Or is an impediment to the development and expansion of the welfare state? A third cluster of questions is related with the OMC and its role in formulating the future profile of the European social policy. In this particular context we pose some questions. Why just OMC? How can we estimate its contribution in the development of European social policy and European integration? Is OMC capable of producing results? What is its future development and its potential "federal content"? Finally, a fourth question is related with the form that a future OMC should take in order to support a federal social policy, as well as the conditions under which such an OMC would be successful. These are some of the many questions that we would like to pick for our discussion in the frame of a provocative and, we hope, fruitful framework of the conference about the relations between social federalism, subsidiarity and open method of coordination.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > governance: EU & national level
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > social policy > general
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > decision making/policy-making
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Catania > Department of Law, C.S.D.L.E. "Massimo D'Antona" Working Papers .INT
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2006
    Page Range: p. 26
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:40

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