The Evolution of Pension Policy at National and Supranational Level
Pension policy represents in many respects the corner stone of the contemporary European welfare states. And its reform has emerged as a key issue in most of the European countries. This book aims at improving the knowledge of the long-term and more recent evolution of retirement programmes and their regulation at national and supranational level. It gives detailed information about pensions in nine Western and Eastern European countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and UK). In parallel it develops the study of the European Union action in the field, through regulation, the Stability and Growth Pact and the Open Method of Coordination.
What does history tell us about the evolution of pensions? Is it a story of stability or change? Is there any convergence between European pension models? And then what is the role of the European Union in the field?
This book provides answers to these questions and gives scholars, students and policy-makers a comprehensive description of national retirement programmes as well as theoretical analysis of the reform politics, output and outcomes with a focus on national and European dynamics.
‘Pensions in Europe, European Pensions’ represents a promising step beyond the more traditional comparative contributions, revealing the complex interaction of national and supranational institutions engaged in the most important welfare policy in the ageing European society.
13 Acknowledgments “Rien se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme” Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (1743-1794) This book is based on a research project carried out by the Obser- vatoire social européen, asbl with the financial support of the Federal Public Service Social Security of Belgium. First of all, I want to thank the Minister for Social Integration, Pensions and Large Cities Madame Marie Arena and Koen Vleminckx and Tom Auwers from the Federal Public Service for their support and patience in waiting for the final draft. My sincere graditude goes to Philippe Pochet former Director of the Observatoire social européen, asbl and Anne Peeters present Director for their help and support all along the project. And to the OSE team for their help and friendly contribution to months of reflection. I am also indebted to my ‘new’ colleagues at the University of Bologna-Forli. The Dean of the Faculty of Political Science, Professor Giliberto Capano, as well as Professor Renata Lizzi and the other colleagues of the Centre for Public Policy Analysis of Forli have contributed with comments and suggestions to the final version of the book. And to Igor Guardiancich, Phd student at the European University Institute of Florence for his help in the analysis of the Slovenian case. Valérie Cotulelli undertook the lay-out of the book and all the necessary harmonization with great patience. I owe her a special debt of gratitude. David Natali, May 2008
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