From Plato to Prodi

Governments Say - Official Documents

General documents to social policy



Citizenship of the European Union - Overview


The Treaty of Maastricht - on the way to the Single European Market

The Maastricht Treaty provided a central step on the way to finally establishing the single market and the single currency. By this - setting the so-called Maastricht criteria - it had a central meaning as well for the further development of national social policies.

The linked text provides a brief overview.

Recommendation 92/441/EEC of 24 June 1992 on common criteria concerning sufficient resources and social assistance in social protection systems Although this and the following document are basically concerned with questions of social protection in the strict sense, they are hugely important as well in regard of the fundamental orientation o social policy in general - not least reflecting the question of how far EUropean Social Policy actually should reach.
Recommendation 92/442/EEC of 27 July 1992 on the convergence of social protection objectives and policies  
Memorandum A European Social Model Strangely the document that can be found here had been circulated as confidential paper during the Social Affairs Council on March 29th, 1996. The European Social Model is again and again discussed but rarely explored in concrete terms. Here, the French government tabled a more detailed presentation of the idea of that model, which usually is diffusely just distinguished from the US American model. So it is not clear why a concretising attempt remains confidential.

See in this context as well the debate opened by Michel Albert (document Capitalisme contre Capitalisme; originally from - Août 4ième, 2002

see as well below on this page:

The European Social Model - the official point of view and a critical remark

Final Report, summarising the second Social Policy Forum, which took place 1998 in Brussels

Report of the Expert Group on Fundamental Rights
"Affirming fundamental rights in the European Union - Time to act" ("Simitis-Report")

Social Situation in the European Union 2000  
Social Policy Agenda  
Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Worker  

Services of General Interest

It is not yet clear if and to what extent this strategic paper will bear consequences for the social actors. At least some branches fear that this is the foundation stone for the final transfer of the social into a market based product provision.

However, my personal view is that this fear is more a reason to justify the adaption to market rules as many of welfare organisations apply due to the lack of original social visions, concepts and will to fight for. In any case, the main pressures for such adaption can most likely be located on the national level (for a discussion see the contributions in: European Services of General Interest – touchstone for the German social economy/Europäische Daseinsvorsorge – Prüfsteine für die deutsche Sozialwirtschaft; Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlags-Gesellschaft, 2002)


A Sustainable Europe for a better world (06/06/2001)


 com2000-559_Commission communication on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union


com2000-644_Commission communication on the Legal nature of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

The European Social Model and the Open Method of Coordination - the official point of view and a critical remark

Didier Fouarge: Costs of non-social policy: towards an economic framework of quality social policies - and the costs of not having them. Report from the Employment and Social Affairs DG. Final Report. January 3, 2003

The view of social policy as a productive factor culminated during the mid-term review of the social policy agenda in March 2003 in the emphasis of the costs of non-policies