«A thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of ...»
135-146; Gerda Falkner, „The EU‟s Social Dimension‟ in Michelle Cini (ed.), European Union Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 264-277; the Chapter on Social Policy in Desmond Dinan, Ever Closer Union – an Introduction to European Integration (3rd ed.) (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) 11 Maurizio Ferrera, The Boundaries of Welfare – European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 117 12 For a general outline of the developments in this area see for example Desmond Dinan, Ever Closer Union – an Introduction to European Integration (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), esp. Ch. 14 and Gerda 180 Lange defines the “social dimension” as comprising: “all those policies, or proposed policies, for the EC and its member states that provide or would provide rights, opportunities, benefits, or protections to actual, potential, or former participants in the labour market.”13 According to him there were two main positions on the appropriate regulatory role of the Community – firstly, the supporters of a minimalist, decentralised, hands-off approach advocated limiting the Community-level legislation and giving more space to member states.
In the period after the signing of the SEA, this position seemed to have attained a leading role and had some important successes in the social dimension. However, as Ferrera states: “Delors‟ ambitions regarding the social dimension were basically defeated by the 1992 constitutional revision.”15 This was marked by a shift not only in the actions undertaken in the social policy field but also in the prevailing articulations. This is easily spotted in the discourse of the European Commission on the issue. While before early 1990s the references are to “the social dimension” and “the EMoS”, after 1993 “the ESM” becomes the most commonly used term. Despite the differences in the policies envisaged and advocated by each of them, in respect of the topic of this chapter, these formulations Falkner, „The EU‟s Social Dimension‟ in Michelle Cini (ed.), European Union Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 264-277. Cram presents a very interesting account of how the Commission has facilitated and utilised the developments in the area of social policy in Laura Cram, „Calling the Tune without Paying the Piper? Social Policy Regulation: the Role of the European Commission in the European Community Social Policy‟, Policy and Politics, 21: 2 (1993), pp. 135-146 13 Peter Lange, „The Politics of the Social Dimension‟ in Alberta Sbragia (ed.), Euro-Politics – Institutions and Policymaking in the „New‟ European Community (Washington: Brookings, 1992), pp. 225-256, pp. 229Ibid., pp. 230-231. Other scholars have made a distinction between a positive integration (up-ward harmonisation) and negative integration (down-ward harmonisation) in Colin Hay, Matthew Watson, Daniel Wincott, „Globalization, European Integration and the Persistence of European Social Models‟, Working Paper 3/99, POLSIS, University of Birmingham, p. 7 or in Maurizio Ferrera, The Boundaries of Welfare – European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 116 15 Maurizio Ferrera, The Boundaries of Welfare – European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 117 181 have some crucial underlying similarities. The representations they make directly affect the establishment, abolition and reconstruction of EU borders. Furthermore, as the discussion below shows the relevant articulations configure borders in the same way. Therefore, the analysis of the configuration of borders in the Commission social policy discourse will focus on critically examining the articulations on the “social dimension”, the “EMoS” and the “ESM”, which in the next three sections of the chapter are regarded as variations of the same discourse, rather than as two distinctive discourses. 16 In the following parts of the chapter I have aimed to provide examples of the employment of both, the EMoS and the ESM in the Commission discourse, in order to demonstrate this overlap in the configuration of borders. This part provides a background for the following analysis by outlining the main themes articulated in the documents of the European Commission, highlighting their differences and presenting the way the Commission discourse has evolved.
5.2.1. The European Model of Society In the years after the SEA the EMoS constituted one of the focal points of the social dimension of the integration project. According to Delors: “… the social dimension is first and foremost the creation of jobs and solidarity.” 17 where the latter is defined as economic and social cohesion founded on the concept of equal opportunities for all parts of the Community. 18 The main aim at the time was: “… to create a core of social rights applicable throughout the Community.” 19 This aim presupposes harmonisation at EU level and is reflected in the content of the major documents in the social area adopted – the Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights for Workers, 20 the Action Plan for the 16 The main difference between the EMoS and the ESM on one hand and the social dimension on the other hand is their different emphasis. In that respect, the former two refer to “European” and deal with models of society. The ESM, however, leaves more scope for Commission action because this formulation implies that there is greater scope for policy intervention.
17 Jacques Delors, Press Conference on the Prospects for the European Council in Madrid, SPEECH/89/48, 23.06.1989, p. 1 18 Jacques Delors, Press Conference before the Maastricht European Council, SPEECH/91/135, 05.12.1991, p. 1 19 European Commission Press Release, Programme of the Commission for 1991, DOC/91/1, 23.01.1991, p. 3 20 The Commission‟s drafts on the Charter are European Commission Communication, Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights, COM (89) 248 final, 30.05.1989 and European Commission, Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights, COM (89) 471 final, 02.10.1989 182 Implementation of the Charter,21 and the Agreement on Social Policy adopted by eleven member states at Maastricht.22 There are two important themes emerging from these documents, which represent the bulk of the Commission thinking on social policy issues and as such constitute the framework of the social dimension. Firstly, the efforts are predominantly oriented towards the establishment of an agreed upon set of basic social rights (freedom of movement, employment and remuneration, improvement of living and working conditions, social protection, freedom of association and collective bargaining, vocational training, equal treatment of men and women, information, consultation and participation of workers, health protection and safety at the workplace, protection of children, adolescents, the elderly and disabled persons).23 Secondly, there are two main tools envisaged for the implementation of workers‟ rights – legislative measures or encouraging the two sides of the industry to conclude collective agreements at national, regional, sectoral or company level. 24 These two themes are a result of the general trend established in the social sphere in the Western part of the European continent in the post-World War Two period. Furthermore, they indicate a predisposition towards developing harmonised legislation at the EU level, which shows a stronger manifestation of elements related to positive integration and social protectionism.
However, there is one more recurring theme in the Commission social policy discourse in this period, the idea that the EMoS has to be reexamined, reformulated. 25 This 21 European Commission, Action Programme Relating to the Implementation of the Community Charter of Basic Social Rights for Workers, COM (89) 568 final, 29.11.1989 22 The Social Policy Protocol annexed to the Treaty Establishing the European Union 23 See for example, the Commission‟s drafts on the Charter, European Commission, Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights, COM (89) 248 final, 30.05.1989 and European Commission, Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights, COM (89) 471 final, 02.10.1989 24 Ibid.
25 See for example Jacques Delors and Clisthene, Our Europe – the Community and National Development (London: Verso, 1992), p. 158; Padraig Flynn, Speech at the Irish Management Institute Conference, SPEECH/93/45, 30.04.1993; Padraig Flynn, The Challenges Facing the Community on Employment, SPEECH/93/86, 09.07.1993; Padraig Flynn, Green Paper Seminar, SPEECH/94/59, 28.05.1994, p. 2; Padraig Flynn, Social Policy and Employment – Friends or Foes, SPEECH/95/278, 11.12.1995, p. 2. This theme does not disappear from the later discourses, where it is expressed through the idea of the need for modernising the ESM. For examples of this see Anna Diamantopoulou, The European Employment Strategy and Social Model, SPEECH/01/29, 29.01.2001, p. 2; Anna Diamantopoulou, Employment and Social Policy and Enlargement, SPEECH/00/176, 11.05.2000, p. 2; Anna Diamantopoulou, The Modernisation of the European 183 was partially due to the fact that in 1993 the EU‟s social program was coming to an end and it was becoming difficult to agree on its future direction. 26 However, this was coupled with the growing perception of a rapidly changing environment, posing new challenges. The changing discourse of the Commission aimed at providing a way for better addressing the challenges of the early 1990s (the structural and technological changes in production, leading to new employment and unemployment patterns, pressure on the welfare state, change in the role of education, workplace relationships, and intergenerational inequalities27). The perception of these challenges triggered thinking about the ways of facing them, which is reflected in shifts of the Commission social policy discourse. This is
well summarised by the former Commissioner responsible for Social Affairs Padraig Flynn:
“… the debate about the future of European social policy goes much wider than the specific needs of those in work … the complex and changing relationship between economic and social policy requires us to take a broader view of the challenges we face and the possible solutions to be adopted. It is no longer possible – or productive – to focus too narrowly on specific questions such as labour law.” 28 The first Commission documents that emerged from this process were the White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment, 29 the Green Paper on Social Policy30 and the White Paper on Social Policy. 31 To a large extent these Papers were groundbreaking because they initiated the fleshing out of a new emphasis in the social policy field. In distinction to the previous thinking, they put the interrelationship between economic and social policies at the forefront of the discussions Social Model and the Forthcoming Stockholm Summit, SPEECH/01/113, 09.03.2001; Anna Diamantopoulou, European Social Policy: Revising the Challenge of Modernisation, SPEECH/01/170, 10.04.2001 26 Padraig Flynn, The Development of European Level Social Dialogue, SPEECH/96/200, 23.07.1996, p. 2;