Is an European social model possible?

In a working seminar “ALLIANCES TO FIGHT POVERTY” wants to discuss the possibility of an European social model. This seminar takes place at Lisbon, the 23 rd  and 24th of May 2013. You can find the program at the page “upcoming events”.

More information about this new seminar you will find soon on the “conference” page.

Is an European social model possible?

The outlook for the European countries looks really poor. Almost all countries have to make severe budget cuts. The economy in many countries is shrivelled. Even the strictest countries are looking for a lighter sanitation of the budget. But they all stay in line of austerity. Austerity that threatens our social models.

Last February, The European Commission has launched a Communication on the “Social investment Package”. It reads like a complement to the economic governance. Some believe that the social pillar of Europe can develop now. Others think that the Communication is just nothing more than a Communication.

The important element is that the discussion on a social model for Europe can start now.

During the seventh seminar of “Alliances to fight poverty” we will continue to examine the needs for a Social Europe. With these findings we will be able to evaluate the Package and suggest alternative paths for a Social Europe.

In the seminar several elements linked to the Package will be discussed. With the evolution of poverty in Europe we can evaluate the current social policy and discuss if the Package can give an answer.

At first, we will look at ‘daily life practice’ of social benefits. Social benefits are nowadays used to “discipline” or activate the beneficiaries. The question is of disciplining people gets them out of poverty. In different European member states we find almost the same answers. Our final question is whether social benefits help to have more equality and equity in the member states.

Secondly, we’ll discuss the evolution of social services and social work in the age of austerity. What are the consequences of the tendency of privatization, disinvestment and the influence of the meritocratic culture for the social services and social work? What are the consequences on health care in our European countries?

In the different sessions, we’ve scheduled large discussion moments to discuss the treats to the social models and the possible answers to this treats. The answers we will use to formulate a new social model for Europe.

The seminar will also focus on the fundamentals of Europe: are the treats to our social models provoked by the bases of the single market? Is the dominance of the European single market a treat or an answer? Can we build a European social model in times of crisis? And is the basis for a European social model not a search for more equality between the European states?

The seventh seminar raises new questions and new answers and deepens our answers of the previous seminars.

This seminar is organized by the Alliances in collaboration with the antipoverty network of Portugal.

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