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Europe 2020

Towards a More Social EU?


Edited By Eric Marlier, David Natali and Rudi Van Dam

How can Europe 2020, the EU’s new Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, lead to a stronger Social EU with less poverty and greater social cohesion? This book by a number of eminent scholars and experts is the first to attempt to answer this question.
The adoption in June 2010 by EU leaders of a target to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and exclusion by 2020 is an important step forward. However, delivering on this and the Union’s four other mutually reinforcing targets, and achieving the EU’s ambitious social objectives, raises many political and technical challenges. These are examined in depth in this book.
A key objective of the book is to take a critical look at and draw lessons from the past, 2000–2010 Lisbon Strategy. Another important objective is to explore the format and role of EU coordination and cooperation in the social field in the new EU governance framework, in a context marked by slow recovery after the global economic crisis. Finally, the book also makes proposals for the further reinforcement of this coordination and cooperation and for the improvement of the different instruments available at EU, national and sub-national levels.
The analysis and concrete proposals presented in the book will be invaluable to policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders interested in contributing to building a more Social EU. They will help to encourage new ideas and innovative approaches.


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Foreword (Laurette ONKELINX) 11


11 Foreword Reinforcing the European Union (EU) coordination and cooperation in the social field was a major priority for the 2010 Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU. As Maurizio Ferrera reminds us in this book, there are at least three fundamental reasons why a strong social EU dimension is required. First and foremost, it is a matter of social justice. Secondly, social protection is a productive factor. And thirdly, the EU needs a social face to retain the support of its citizens. Still, there are important threats to the European Social Model(s) of which the after- math of the financial crisis of 2008 is the most recent and probably the most acute one. In this context the Belgian Presidency was very pleased to be able to take up the challenge of contributing to the collective endeavour of the Union and its Member States to develop the “Europe 2020” Strategy. This Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, which was endorsed by the 27 EU Heads of State and Government at their June 2010 European Council, sets the EU five integrated and mutually rein- forcing targets to be reached by 2020. One of them is to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and exclusion. EU leaders also adopted economic and employment Guidelines. These should guide the policies which EU and Member States will deploy in pursuit of the new Strategy’s objectives and targets. Moreover, the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force on...

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