The European social model—a system that combines economic growth with high living standards and good working conditions—has long been a guideline for setting government policy as well as a source of pride for the EU member nations. However, due to financial strains caused by the economic crisis and long-term social trends, many countries are now looking for ways to cut their most popular social programs.
Using case studies and detailed empirical evidence, this book examines how social policies are being dismantled in 13 EU member states (Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden, and the UK). The contributors use the findings from these studies to discuss a mix of policy reforms that could retain the main elements and features of the European social model, thus helping Europe preserve the essentials of its soul and identity.
The volume’s timely warning about the dismantling of the European social model and its possibly devastating future effects—as well as the alternative options proposed—make it essential reading for policymakers and an invaluable reference for scholars and researchers of European studies and social policy.
Contributors include José Ignacio Antón (University of Salamanca, Spain), Dominique Anxo (Linnaeus University, Sweden), Gerhard Bosch (University of Duisburg-Essen, Institut für Arbeit und Qualifikation, Germany) Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo Llorente (University of Salamanca), Kerly Espenberg (University of Tartu, Estonia), Antonio Figueiredo (University of Porto, Portugal), Jérôme Gautié (University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Institut des Sciences Sociales du Travail, Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne), Pilar González, University of Porto, Portugal), Damian Grimshaw, EWERC (European Work and Employment Research Centre, University of Manchester), Maria Karamessini (Panteion University, Greece), Jaan Masso (University of Tartu), Inta Mierina, (University of Warsaw, University of Latvia), Ágota Scharle (Budapest Institute, Hungary), Annamaria Simonazzi (Sapienza University of Rome), Dorottya Szikra (Budapest Institute), and Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead (ILO, Sciences Po).