Two major events of 2004 will go down in the European history books: enlargement to take in the central and eastern European countries as well as Cyprus and Malta, and the adoption of the draft constitutional Treaty for Europe. Both of these events were subjects of debate throughout the year, since their implications affect all the policies – and indeed the very future – of the European Union. Nevertheless, these two events alone will not shape the future of the Union. They will be what the political leaders, intellectual elites, economic players, social organisations and trade unions make of them.

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Table of contents

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Foreword - Christophe Degryse and Philippe Pochet

Chapter 1 - European social dialogue: modest achievements in a climate of conflict - Christophe Degryse

Chapter 2 - The European Employment Strategy and the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines - Philippe Pochet

Chapter 3 - Health care: after the Court, the policy-makers get down to work - Rita Baeten

Chapter 4 - The draft Services Directive: a visionary instrument enhancing competitiveness or a Trojan horse threatening the European social model? - Éric Van den Abeele

Chapter 5 - European Constitution: a ratification process with an uncertain outcome - Cécile Barbier

Chapter 6 - Asylum and immigration: difficulties of a common approach - Cécile Barbier

Chapter 7 - The European Union and pensions: recent steps in “hard” legislation and “soft” co-ordination - David Natali

Chapter 8 - Overview of social policy case law of the European Court of Justice - Dalila Ghailani

Future prospects - Christophe Degryse and Philippe Pochet

Chronology 2004 Key events in European social policy