A turning point in Europe?

IF/VS – 12/2022

On 17 November 2017, the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) was proclaimed by 28 Member States, the European Parliament and the European Commission at the Social Summit in Gothenburg. The "Pillar", as it has been called since then, with its 20 principles and rights, was intended to be a guideline for a strong social Europe and to strengthen the social dimension in Europe.

Outlook: EPSR as a guideline for social Europe?

In our current edition of the ed* we look at the question of whether, five years after the social summit in Gothenburg, the Pillar has indeed opened a new chapter in the history of social Europe, as Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the European Commission, put it at the time of its proclamation. Has this become the guiding principle for a more social and just Europe in recent years? Has it contributed to strengthening social protection at European level?

Review: European initiatives to strengthen social protection

In doing so, we also look back at previous European initiatives to strengthen social protection in Europe. Thus, the Pillar is not the first initiative to anchor the "social dimension" at the European level, an initiative that has received a lot of advance praise. What is different this time? Why should the Pillar succeed in doing what could not be done before?

With the adoption of the Pillar, the need for new legislative and non-legislative initiatives was also worded. But how has this actually been reflected in initiatives at the European level in recent years? Could existing gaps in social security be closed? Using select initiatives as examples, we discuss key achievements for social insurance.

The future of social Europe

In addition, we take a look at the bigger picture and look at potential development of the EPSR. As part of the Action Plan on EPSR, the European Commission had announced the establishment of a High Level Expert Group to examine the future of the welfare state, its financing and the links with the changing world of work. Ultimately, we address the question of whether the EPSR is another futile attempt to strengthen the social dimension in Europe or whether it is indeed a turning point in Europe.

The ed* magazine can be downloaded from the following Link.