AIAS Lunch Seminar 3 april: Paul de Beer (AIAS)

‘What is a Social Europe? And do we want it?’

Paul de Beer

Day: Thursday 3 april 2014
Time: 12.15 – 13.15 hrs.
Location: AIAS, 2nd floor, G building, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, Amsterdam
Registration: Please send an email, preferably before Wednesday 2 April, 12.00 hrs, to register.
A sandwich will then be provided.


Since the start of the European integration process in the 1950s, the social dimension of Europe has been a matter of controversy. Recently, the debate on the balance between the economic and the social dimension of the EU was reinvigorated in the wake of the economic crisis and the ensuing austerity policies that have been implemented by many EU Member States. Many societal actors, such as trade unions and progressive parties, have advocated the strengthening of the social dimension of the EU. However, what is striking in most pleas for a social Europe, is that they are far from concrete. What should a social Europe be like? What does it take to achieve that goal? Most pamphlets, papers and reports that criticize the current EU policies fail to answer these questions.
In this presentation, I will suggest plausible and feasible answers to both questions: (1) what is a social Europe and (2) how could it be realised? I will propose a definition of a social Europe and argue, very generally, why it might be desirable. I will explain why a crucial precondition for the realization of a social Europe in the long run is the convergence of the welfare levels of the Member States. Next, I describe two routes towards a social Europe. The first route consists of formulating European minimum norms that the Member States have to comply with. The second route consists of guaranteeing social rights directly from ‘Brussels’. Finally, I discuss the alternative option of strengthening the formal authority and de factor autonomy of the member states with respect to their national welfare states.

The next lunch seminar will be on Thursday 17 April 2014, Lisa Berntsen & Ines Wagner (WSI) – The Europeanisation of national labour markets: transnational agency, temporary and posted work in Germany and the Netherlands

Click here for all the AIAS lunch seminars from January – July 2014

| More