The European Union has gone through a crucial period marked by growing anti-EU sentiments and the difficult implementation of its largely renewed socio-economic governance. After years of in-depth innovations and the hope of reinvigorating the E(M)U social dimension, European institutions have engaged in a lively debate on how to exit the recession and relaunch the integration project. While most Member States have continued to pursue punitive austerity programmes – at a time when 27 million Europeans are unemployed and a quarter of the EU population is at risk of poverty – most stakeholders (namely the trade union movement) and policymakers agree on the need for an EU-driven growth strategy.

This 2013 edition of Social developments in the European Union provides key insights from analysts and scholars. Through the critical assessment of the EU economic governance of the last few years, contributors have set guidelines for a reinforced EU social protection and investment plan. The proposals for a pan-European unemployment insurance scheme and an EU minimum income scheme are analysed together with a renewed focus on the gender dimension of European social policies. Beyond economic and social governance, this volume critically reviews national reforms of labour market policies. While the state of the European economy is still gloomy, the institutional and policy reforms proposed here represent an opportunity to unveil a new path for Europe.

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Table of contents

Chronology 2013 Key events in European policy, Cécile Barbier

A worrying prospect: towards a more imbalanced European social governance? Christophe Degryse, Maria Jepsen and Philippe Pochet

Euro area-wide unemployment insurance: useless, desirable, or indispensable? Ferdinand Fichtner

Gender equality, from the Treaty of Rome to the quota debate: between myth and reality, Dalila Ghailani

Fault lines and (still too few) silver linings in Europe’s social market economy, Anton Hemerijck

Introduction: A last chance to rescue Europe? (Re-)launching social EU the only strategy against anti-euro sentiments, David Natali

Working time and atypical forms of employment contracts in times of crisis: recent reforms in the Member States, Carole Lang, Stefan Clauwaert and Isabelle Schömann

Future prospects Facing the E(M)U challenge: a new policy package through a new political deal, David Natali

Towards a European minimum income? Discussions, issues and prospects, Ramón Peña-Casas and Denis Bouget


Table of contents

A European Social Union: key questions to answer, Frank Vandenbroucke, Bart Vanhercke and John Morley

List of abbreviations

Social developments in the European Union 2013 (full version)