Project Project
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A European Economic and Social Model?

July 2005 - May 2006
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
Christian Kellermann (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung)
Marius Busemeyer (MPIfG)
Andrej Stuchlik (University of Budapest)

Addressing and evaluating positions on European issues of governments, parties, and trade unions in 16 EU member states

Short description of the project

In the German political debate, economic and social consequences of the European integration are discussed more and more ambivalently. On the one side, the European social model is seen as a safeguard from effects of globalisation and a protection of the German model, on the other side, one feels threatened by effects of the integration. Catch phrases like job exports, tax competition, and the migration of low-wage workers taking over local high-wage workers’ jobs are dominating the discourse on European politics not only in Germany. In France and the Netherlands, this discontent led to the failure of the referenda on the European constitution heralding a crisis of EU. The European economic and social model faces the big challenge of reconciling the interests of 25 member states.

In this project, positions of governments, parties, unions, and employers’ associations from 16 member states on central problem areas and options of reform are collected and analysed. The project is looking at Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. It is focussed on the following policy areas: fiscal policy, the Stability and Growth Pact, monetary policy (European Central Bank), wage policy, employment policy and the Lisbon Strategy, macroeconomic coordination, harmonization of taxes, agriculture policy, policies of structure and cohesion, services directive, as well as social policies and the Social Dialogue (Open Method of Coordination, OMK). The projects analyses political positions on economic and social aspects of European integration in order to identify positions in the named fields of policy on which consensus might be obtained.