Jakob Larsson: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: The European Union’s primal actuation, the creation of a free inner market, has come to challenge the European Welfare systems national inequalities. As an answer to a more economic orientated European Union the Member States have expressed a will to cooperation in the field of social politics to meet the effects of the inner market, but without leaving any formal decisive power to a supranational EU-level. This paradox has resulted in a rising of a collective European social politic characterized of vague formulated goals whose practical adaption often stays imprecise. In 2000 the Lisbon Strategy was launched, which aims to create a globally competitive Europe with a social ambition which complements the free movement of EU citizens. The method of enforcing the high standards of social policy objectives became a method of open coordination which allow Member States governments continued formal authority but which also gives the EU institutions a soft influence where key words such as “peer pressure” and “exchange of best practices” is key concepts. The aim of this report is to set out the The Open Method of Coordination (OMC). The OMC is a form of cooperation based on continual reporting, measuring and ranking of the Member States politics on basis of common objectives. The idea is that EU trough peer pressure between the Member States would achieve greater and more effective convergence in political areas that are not included in the EU-competence. What this development is going to lead to for the Member States Welfare-systems in the future is difficult to know, thus it is clear that EU has created a potential driving force to adapt the Member States Welfare politics towards a joint EU-norm whose ultimate goal is a European Social Model.
48 pages, December 2008
Price: 25 SEK
Note: ISSN: 1652-120X; ISBN: 978-91-85619-27-6
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