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  Social Europe and Well-Being  




The EU’s aspirations for a ‘Social Europe’ are fraught with difficulties and contradictions, caught between higher expectations for a more social and protective Europe while being hampered in its ability to deliver. People no longer equate the European project with social progress or as an effective answer to today’s challenges. Society is becoming more polarised: widening inequalities, rising poverty and social exclusion, rapid technological change, increased precariousness, intergenerational immobility, and less stable forms of work, are all contributing to a growing sense of insecurity.
Thus, the relevance of the European project is being called into question, in particular, its added value and effectiveness in mitigating the negative impact of ongoing transformations. In response, the EU is paying increasing attention to the social dimension of EU policies. Despite this, the Union continues to face the same old, familiar challenges of limited competence in the social area and permanent resistance from (some) member states to the idea of Social Europe as an unifying goal.
How to square the circle? How can the EU add value to national policies in the area of employment, health, and social affairs? How can Social Europe be made a unifying goal and shared objective for all EU countries? These are the main questions the EPC Social Europe & Well-being Programme aims to address.
The Programme is structured around the following priorities:
• Strengthening the social dimension of EU policies and governance for upward social convergence.
• Towards a modern and inclusive labour market.
• Making European welfare states and social protection systems ‘future-fit’ in the light of ongoing labour market transformation.
• Investing in human capital for greater well-being and less inequality, with a particular focus on health. The EPC’s work on health - mainly through the long-standing partnership with Johnson & Johnson under the CHES banner - has a particular focus on the ethical aspects, especially issues related to access, affordability and patient choice.
The activities under this Programme are closely integrated with other EPC focus areas, especially those related to migration and the economy, with a view to providing more ‘joined-up’ policy solutions.
The EU’s aspirations for a ‘Social Europe’ are fraught with difficulties and contradictions, caught between higher expectations for a more social and protective Europe while being hampered in its ability to deliver. People no longer equate the European project with social progress or as an effective answer to today’s challenges. Society is becoming more polarised: widening inequalities, rising poverty and social exclusion, rapid technological change, increased precariousness, intergenerational immobility, and less stable forms of work, are all contributing to a growing sense of insecurity.

Publications

Healthcare / POLICY BRIEF
From reaction to action: How the EU can step up its role in global pandemics
By Claire Dhéret , Simona Guagliardo - 14/07/2020
Social EU / DISCUSSION PAPER
Minimum wage and the EU: Happily ever after?
By Claire Dhéret , Mihai Palimariciuc - 29/05/2020
Health & healthcare / OP-ED
The Coronavirus can make or break the Union
By Simona Guagliardo - 16/03/2020

Contributions

Health & healthcare / QUOTE
COVID19 crisis: time to re-think EU role in health?
Simona Guagliardo was interviewed by Contexte on the need to re-think the European health system since the eruption of Covid19 crisis  Find it here (in French)


30 March 2020 - ,
Health & healthcare / QUOTE
Coronavirus: What EU can and can't do
Simona Guagliardo is quoted at EU observer on what the EU can and can't do in the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Read the article here

25 March 2020 - ,
Health & healthcare / QUOTE
Pourquoi l'Union européenne en fait si peu dans la lutte contre le coronavirus
Simona Guagliardo is quoted at Slate magazine on the role of the EU in the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Read the article here (in French)

25 March 2020 - ,

team

Head of Social Europe and Well-Being Programme and Senior Policy Analyst
Expertise:
European social model(s), employment and social policies, mobility of EU workers, EU health policies & health systems, EU governance, EU cohesion policy, industrial policy, and the EU budget

Policy Analyst
Expertise:
Health & healthcare, CHES - Coalition for Health, Ethics and Society, Social dimension of EU policies
Junior Policy Analyst
Expertise:
Future of Work, European Social Policy (special focus: Employment Policy), Central and Eastern European Welfare States
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