Will 2003 go down in the annals of European construction as a wasted year? This may appear to be a provocative question, but it is one worth posing. When we review the main events of the year, we are bound to acknowledge that Europe has failed to keeps its promises. Its political promises, with the failure of the Brussels European Council in December, postponing the adoption of the European Constitution. Its economic promises, with the Lisbon objectives (2000) seeming to recede ever further into the distance because of the sluggishness of economic growth in "old Europe" and the lack of economic policy co-ordination. Its social promises, with the slow but relentless rise in unemployment (8.8% in the euro zone in December 2003). Its diplomatic promises, with Europe's dissension over the war in Iraq. And we could go on to mention the crisis of confidence in the common rules, stirred up by the Stability and Growth Pact affair...

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Table of contents

Preface - Henning Jorgensen, Reiner Hoffmann, Lars Magnusson, Philippe Pochet and Chirstophe Degryse

Foreword 2003: a wasted year ? - Christophe Degryse and Philippe Pochet

Chapter 1 - EMU and economic policy - Jacky Fayolle

Chapter 2 - European social dialogue in 2003: transition or stagnation ? - Christophe Degryse

Chapter 3 - The new European Employment Strategy - Philippe Pochet

Chapter 4 - Second phase of the open method of co-ordination on social inclusion - Ramon Pena-Casas

Chapter 5 - From the Convention to the IGC: a constitutional treaty in search of authors - Cécile Barbier

Chapter 6 - Community activity concerning services of general interest during 2003: disillusion sets in - Eric Van den Abeele

Chapter 7 - European social policy: contribution of the European Court of Justice in 2003

Future prospects - Christophe Degryse and Philippe Pochet

Chronology 2003 Key events in European social policy