Discuss the Difficulties in Seeking to Adopt a Common Social Policy and Social Welfare Agenda Among the E.U. Member States.

Topics: European Union, Treaty of Lisbon, Enlargement of the European Union Pages: 11 (3973 words) Published: March 26, 2013
Assignment 2-Take Home Exam (Question 3, 5 and 6)
Question 3 Discuss the difficulties in seeking to adopt a common social policy and social welfare agenda among the E.U. member states. Introduction
A social policy is a public policy and practice in the areas of health care, human services, criminal justice, education, and labor. (Malcolm Wiener Centre) In European Union, it has passed a long way to seeking adopt a common social policy and social welfare agenda among the E.U. member states. Caune et al has summarized the process of social policy into three steps followed by the milestone of EU. First stage was to create a common market and keep the national welfare policies. During the first stage E.U. did seek to establish a certain policy, such as freedom of movement for workers and freedom of establishment and equal pay and rights for migrant workers. The second stages was Maastricht treaty that creating Maastricht criteria as new economic policy regime and established ‘soft law management’. The thirds stage was focus onwards coordination and competition of national welfare policies. The treaty of Lisbon which is the recently moment in E.U. social policy, it defines E.U. seeks to assess the significance of the poverty/social inclusion open method of co-ordination in terms of what it indicates about the EU’s engagement with social policy.

From the historically, EU was did a lot of works to creating social policy and social welfare agenda. But E.U. still faces many difficult to making a common social policy among E.U. states. Furthermore, this essay will mainly discuss on the difficult in seeking to adopt a common social policy and social welfare agenda among the E.U. member states which are based understand and analyzed the history and concept of E.U. social policy.

From the three stages of form a social welfare system, we could found European Union has really well social welfare systems as an example for the rest of the world. It has maintained social equality among EU members which defend weaker market participants and guarantee them acceptable standards of living. However, EU is now face great challenges, such as rapid growth in EU expansion and integration, growing competition among member states for investments. Most of them are now becoming difficult to a adopt a further common social policy EU, such as increasing about personal expectancy, population migration process, growing income inequality and the existing social exclusion. These difficulties are mainly coming from two sources which are national and European level.

If EU aims to form a common social policy, they will firstly facing a problem of different social policies pursued by member states. Rutkauskiene indicated that there is” no unanimous opinion about all existing social policy in EU.” (Rutkauskiene, 2009) Every member states have their social policy depends on different typology, such as Mediterranean model and antipodean model. These different social policy models in the place which lead EU faces a huge challenge-too many different social policy model in the members will hinder the process of adopt a common social policy in EU. One of the objectives of common social policy is maintain social equality among EU member state but each member state has a different economic situation that leading to different budget on social welfare expenditure. Hence, there will be conflict between different countries investment on the social welfare. One of the example are from the EU integration process, employee are free to move to a low cost countries and also employee from poor countries can move to a member state that has a better work condition. The enlargement or integration of European has becoming one of the difficulties in order to adopt a common social policy in EU because it has direct on the social issues, such as unemployment rate and fair work rights. Traser describe enlargement had already, in 2004, caused public anxiety...
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