As Jacques Delors underlines in the foreword of this Report, “if European policy-making jeopardises cohesion and sacrifices social standards, there is no chance for the European project to gather support from European citizens”.
“The message and concrete actions coming from Europe must change”, said also Nicolas Schmit, Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, at the beginning of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
This Report, commissioned by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy of Luxembourg, focuses on ‘Why’ a new start for Social Europe is necessary, and on ‘How’ a new start for Social Europe is feasible.
It identifies three pillars on which the Social Europe project should be grounded:
1) an investment strategy in human capital which can set the basis for growth and competitiveness based on social inclusion and resilience;
2) an enhanced and fairer labour mobility across EU member states to build a truly European labour market;
3) a pro-convergence reform of the European economic governance that can reconcile social and macroeconomic objectives.
For each of these pillars, a first section introduces key challenges and outlines the policy issues at stake. A second section offers an account of the debate, visions and proposals shared by experts and policy-makers who gathered in Luxembourg for the ‘A New Start for Social Europe?’ round tables, jointly organized by the Jacques Delors Institute and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy of Luxembourg.
The publication aims at fostering debate on making progress toward Social Europe and building up a policy agenda for the coordination of social policies in Europe. It highlights some policy areas where concrete improvements are feasible or more urgent and presents concrete policy recommendations.
The three chapters written by our research fellow David Rinaldi are complemented by contributions from Jacques Delors, Nicolas Schmit and Marianne Thyssen.