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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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3. Aftershock: The Coming Social Crisisin the EU and What Is to Be Done (Roger LIDDLE and Patrick DIAMOND,with Simon LATHAM and Tom BRODIE) 69


69 3. Aftershock: The Coming Social Crisis in the EU and What Is to Be Done Roger LIDDLE and Patrick DIAMOND1, with Simon LATHAM and Tom BRODIE 3.1 Introduction The focus of this chapter is on the social aftershocks of the economic crisis of 2008-2009. This crisis will have fundamental implications for the future of the European Union (EU). It has called into question the political economy of the preceding two decades. Not only has it knocked the “Anglo-Social model”2 (Dixon and Pearce, 2005) of a once elevated pedestal that now appears to have distinctly weak foundations. It has simultaneously thrown the Eurozone into turmoil, exposing fault lines in its governance that raise doubts about the Euro’s long term viability as presently constituted. In redrawing the boundaries between states and markets, the crisis is initiating a major structural transforma- tion of the EU economy, throwing up new social challenges for the EU in the decades ahead. Section 3.2 discusses the nature of this crisis and highlights the links between three central framing arguments of the chapter: the multidi- mensional nature of the crisis, the challenge it poses to solidarity and the present ambiguity of EU integration. The first framing argument is that current crisis aftershocks originate not just in the financial sector crash itself, but in long term structural trends relating both to profound social changes in the life expectations, aspirations and risks that EU citizens are experiencing as well as the changing shape of the produc- tive economy...

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