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Summary Workshop “The European Social Model(s): which directions and responsibilities for the EU?”

Presentation and summary of the contributions of the Joint Workshop organised by Notre Europe & eur-IFRI on 9 March 2006 in CESE (Brussels)

One of the most important domestic challenges the EU has to tackle today is the magnitude of social change called for to adjust to globalisation and technology innovation. These changes put social models in the European Union under severe strain. The workshop, which gathers a panel of experts and key actors in European construction, aims to establish a clear diagnosis of inequalities in Europe and to identify what the EU can do in practice.

Session I Assessing trends: Are social inequalities rising within countries?

  • Income Inequalities: “Pressure from the global financial sphere on the real sphere: impact on inequalities”: Jean Peyrelevade, former President of the Credit Lyonnais
  • Educational inequalities: François Martou, Professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain [Read]
  • Employment inequalities: Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, Principal advisor to the International Labour Organization on working conditions and employment and wage policies

Session II Designing policies: Some success stories. What can tax and job creation policies do?

  • Efficiency/equality through social active policies: the case of the Nordic countries: Kenneth Nelson, Researcher at the Swedish Institute for Social Affairs, Professor in the University of Stockholm. [Read]
  • Taxation in EU: Henri Sterdyniak, Director of the globalisation economics department OFCE, Professor at the University of Paris IX – Dauphine [Read]
  • Job creation policies: John Morley, Professor at the University of Nottingham Business School [Read]

Panel Session Identifying the role of the European Union: reviewing the European social contract

  • Academic rapporteur: Isabelle Cassiers, Professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain [Read]
  • Moderator: Pierre Defraigne, Director of Eur-Ifri
  • Speech of Vladimir Spidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, European Commission. [Read]


  • Michel Hansenne, former Director-General of the ILO
  • Emilio Gabaglio, Former General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation
  • Emmanuel Julien, Deputy Director of Social Affairs, Employers Confederation (MEDEF)
  • Henri Malosse, President of the section “Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship”, European Economic and Social Committee

Conclusion: Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, President Notre Europe