The decision to enlarge the European Union by ten (eventually thirteen) countries has surprisingly not been accompanied by much discussion of the implications for Social Europe. This has led to criticisms that enlargement is a purely economic process that will sweep aside important social considerations:
* Will the much lower labour costs and social standards in the applicant countries - especially those from Central and Eastern Europe - lead to `unfair' competition or `social dumping'?
* Will this process in turn encourage current EU member-states to run-down their own social provisions in order to be able to compete with the newcomers?
* Do the specific features of this new accession wave - the largest enlargement so far and including markedly less-developed countries - threaten the global survival of the so-called `European Social Model'?
* What policies should be implemented in order to avoid a weakening of current European social standards?
These are the main questions this book attempts to answer, on the basis of a comprehensive assessment of the social policy areas most relevant to EU enlargement - wages, working conditions, social protection, employment, industrial relations - while also addressing its most sensitive `social dumping' aspects: capital relocation, labour migration, and redirection of trade.
EU enlargement is higher than ever on the policy agenda and scholars and researchers of European Studies and social policy will find this book an invaluable reference.
Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, Senior Economist, International Labour Office, Geneva, Switzerland and Professor, Sciences Po, Paris, France and the University of Geneva, Switzerland
Contents: Preface Part I: Candidate Countries and the Community `Social Acquis': An Impossible Match? 1. The European Social Model and EU Enlargement 2. Wages and Working Conditions: Well Below EU Standards 3. Social Protection: Overwhelmed by the Liberal Approach 4. Employment: Towards Unregulated Labour Markets? 5. Social Dialogue: Why Bother? 6. Workers' Participation: Slipping Away from the Self-Management Tradition? Part II: Social Dumping: Myth or Reality? 7. The Social Gap: A Source of `Unfair' Competition? 8. Capital Mobility: Massive Relocations 9. Labour Mobility: The European Taboo 10. Trade: The Misleading Debate 11. Conclusion: An Uncertain Future after EU Enlargement Bibliography Index