Solidarity: For Sale? The Social Dimension of the New European Economic Governance Cover Image

Solidarity: For Sale? The Social Dimension of the New European Economic Governance
Solidarity: For Sale? The Social Dimension of the New European Economic Governance

Author(s): Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Stephanie Hare, Gordon Bajnai, Vanessa Rossi, Sarah Hoffmann, Andrew Watt, Juri Viehoff, Thomas Fischer
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Bertelsmann-Stiftung

Summary/Abstract: This fifth volume of the Bertelsmann Stiftung‟s Europe in Dialogue series aims to introduce creative, innovative approaches to the pressing issues facing 21st-century Europe. It strives to provide new impetuses to the debate about the future of the European project. Our previous volume of Europe in Dialogue addressed European economic governance with a focus on crisis prevention and new institutions. This edition, for which contributions were produced in the late summer and early autumn of 2011, examines the social dimensions of the new European policies, issues that have not been as high on the agenda of European leaders and the public. As Thomas Fischer and Sarah Hoffmann, both of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, point out in their paper: “There is growing concern that the burgeoning debt crisis in Europe will develop into a massive social crisis.” They argue there is a worrying lack of solidarity among member states and their citizenries. Different concepts of solidarity and their relevance to the European Union and the financial crisis are discussed by the Oxford University scholars Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations, St. Antony‟s College, and Juri Viehoff, Lecturer of International Relations at University College. Andrew Watt, Senior Researcher at the European Trade Union Institute, has a closer look at Europe‟s performance prior to and during the financial and economic crisis in terms of cohesion and solidarity, both within and between countries. His is a rather bleak view, namely that “the perceived – but actually misconceived – „limits to cross-national solidarity‟ threaten to destroy monetary union and perhaps lastingly damage the whole idea of a Europe based on cohesion and solidarity.” Former Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai presents more integration as the only solution to overcome the crisis. In his chapter, he deals with the dual challenge political leaders in the European Union face: How to deal with European issues in a manner beneficial both to Europe and the member states‟ national electorates. Vanessa Rossi, Global Advisor with Oxford Analytica, and Stephanie Hare, Senior Analyst with Oxford Analytica, present practice-oriented solutions. They argue that a “sharply focussed „gold standard‟ programme for social investment is not only justifiable and affordable but good value for money.” These essays are supplemented by Amalia Khachatryan’s (Oxford University) annotated selection of current analyses and position papers by leading European think tanks and NGOs. Paul Hockenos, an American writer and editor based in Berlin, reviews three recent books on the euro crisis. We thank all of the authors for their contributions, which provide plenty of fodder for an overdue discussion on the social implications of the crisis and Europe‟s response. The views expressed in these contributions, needless to say, are those of the authors not the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 1-156
  • Page Count: 156
  • Language: English