Friends of Europe – Social Union


The European Union and its Member States are failing to deliver on the fundamental goals of the European project: the simultaneous pursuit of economic progress and social progress, both within countries through the progressive development of welfare states, and between countries through upward convergence across the Union.

There is therefore an urgent need to review the scope and purpose of the Union’s social objectives, and the way they can be pursued and achieved. That is why Friends of Europe – an independent think-tank for EU policy analysis and debate – has contracted the OSE to write a report on ‘A holistic approach to Europe’s social problems’, under the supervision of Frank Vandenbroucke. The aim is to take the EU’s social dimension out of its ‘specialist-only’ corner and bring these concerns to the top of the political agenda.

A final report will be produced by the autumn of 2014, which will include a set of recommendations for the incoming European Commission and European Parliament, and some ‘tough nuts to crack’ for domestic policymakers. The report will include a historical overview of the social acquis (broadly understood, including employment and non-discrimination) which has developed during the past fifty years through different modes of day-to-day EU social policymaking: the traditional Community method, the EU distributional mode, policy coordination and social dialogue.