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European social policy: conceptions and choices

Kleinman, Mark and Piachaud, David (1993) European social policy: conceptions and choices. Journal of European Social Policy, 3 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 0958-9287

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Identification Number: 10.1177/095892879300300101


The Social Charter declares that the social dimension of the Community be given the same importance as the economic dimension. Despite this, the EC currently lacks any coherent, consistent or comprehensive social philosophy of policy. State intervention in the form of social policy can be justified mainly on grounds of efficiency, equity or solidarity. The appropriate level of intervention - local, regional, national or EC - is considered separately. In terms of efficiency, issues are raised about diversity versus uniformity, about the existence of cross-national externalities, and about imperfect information. In equity terms, closer European integration is likely to increase disparities and inequalities both within and between member states. Consideration of solidarity raises complex questions of citizenship and inclusion. The question of the type of social policy appropriate to the European level cannot be separated from the wider question of the type of Europe that is envisaged. Three models are considered: a Customs Union; economic integration ('1992'); and economic and political union. Each of these models of the EC has quite different implications for social polrcy. A number of cross-cutting issues are also addressed: federalism and subsidiarity; citizenship; democracy and accountability. Throughout, the arm is not to provide a blueprint for a European social policy, but to cut back some of the present confusion and to clarify the choices that need to be made.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1993 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Social Policy
Asia Centre
Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2014 10:25
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:34

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