From the Gothenburg Social Summit to a European Social Union

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From the Gothenburg Social Summit to a European Union Frank Vandenbroucke published at Europe 27 November 2017 Accessible https://www socialeurope eu/gothenburg-social-summit-european-social-union On 17 Parliament Council and Commission proclaimed Pillar of Rights in The launch signals cautious but steady paradigm shift away from austerity least level But will it lead tangible results? In essence this is fresh attempt answer challenges created by monetary integration upshot new thinking that unification imposes degree convergence key features Member States’ social employment policies Admittedly idea there policy corollary not Already 1990s reform labour markets was justified advent union; emphasis put on supply-side flexibility immediate aftermath financial crisis drive for market gained momentum EU’s discourse under heading ‘structural reform’; one element call States decentralize their systems collective bargaining which can be seen as yet another instance need Now adds ‘stability’ desideratum ‘flexibility’: stability both terms avoidance large economic shocks stable development wage share national income This an important step forwards intellectually basic insight has prominence Commission’s nearly all existing unions are true ‘insurance unions’ They only centralize risk management with regard banks they also unemployment insurance EMU exception gradually developing driven mutual notably its progress towards Banking Next argues needs fiscal stabilisers; achieve options would re-insurance benefit schemes Eurozone reference happenstance Monetary either opt downright centralisation (like Canada or Germany) demand some organisation provide reinsurance when really high US combines decentralisation insurance) concern Eurozone’s entails cluster principles sustain effective stabilisation capacity each State: sufficiently generous benefits short-term; sufficient coverage rates schemes; no segmentation leaves part force poorly insured against unemployment; proliferation relations integrated into insurance; activation unemployed individuals prominently become fortiori imperative quid pro quo if were equipped systems; even without perspective such ‘stability-related’ should figure agenda Well- functioning create ‘externality’: country properly insures itself helps neighbours members institutions deliver coordination: totally decentralised uncoordinated institutional liability rather than asset matter common re-emerging one-sided insistence decentralization dominated number years abandoned short implies well-functioning consensus support types beneficial Flexibility associated ‘enabling’ policies: equipping people adequate skills empower them thus recreate individual security To action: devices Stability requires instruments typically protect vulnerable individuals: stabilises economy because protects purchasing power Enabling protective mutually reinforcing creating resilient relevant welfare states whole EU communication ambitious: said about “delivering more rights citizens” President Jean-Claude Juncker called agreement “to avoid fragmentation dumping” So conceived year may indeed turning point However questions pending ideational delivery Although work interpreted signaling public debate remains handicapped absence clear analytical nature i e state supports facilitates flourishing We clarity role At very moment accepted governments actors entertain contradictory discourses what exact endeavor Some say ‘monitoring results’ implement Pillar; others conversion binding legislation emphasize implementing responsibility; underscore confusion worrying proclamation creates huge political risk: although formally justiciable ‘rights’ language speaks citizens If does promise enshrined initiative backfire frustration Hence develop credible roadmap Delivery presupposes different combined Pillar’s principles: aspects coordination benchmarking other funding play Semester macro-economic surveillance A selection priorities: shortlist priority actions fully implemented much better long wish-list half-heartedly author range colleagues explore concept book after Crisis Cambridge University Press