«A thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of ...»
49 For some of the existing studies analysing the OMC see James Mosher, David Trubek, „Alternative Approaches to Governance in the EU: EU Social Policy and the European Employment Strategy‟, Journal of Common Market Studies, 41: 1 (2003), pp. 63-88; Mary Daly, „EU Social Policy after Lisbon‟, Journal of Common Market Studies, 44: 3 (2006), pp. 461-481; Nick Adnett, „Modernising the European Social Model‟, Journal of Common Market Studies, 39: 2 (2001), pp. 353-364; Martin Heidenreich, Gabriele Bischoff, „The Open Method of Co-ordination: a Way to the Europeanization of Social and Employment Policies?‟, Journal of Common Market Studies, 46: 3 (2008), pp. 497-532 50 Anna Diamantopoulou, European Social Policy: Rising to the Challenge of Modernisation, SPEECH/01/170, 10.04.2001, p. 4 51 As Commissioner Flynn indicates in his speech to the EU Committee of the American Chambers of Commerce, this issue is of importance because there has been quite a disagreement between various fractions on how the EU social dimension should proceed with some seeing legislation as the only active way forward, while others thinking of it as adding to the regulatory burden and diminishing Europe‟s capacity to adopt to changing realities. This is from Padraig Flynn, The Development of European Level Social Dialogue, SPEECH/96/200, 23.07.1996, p. 2 188 insistence that there is a unique way of organising social life in Europe. This idea was initially expressed through the EMoS.
56 Romano Prodi, Economic Growth vs Social Policies: a False Dilemma, SPEECH/02/537, 05.11.2002, p. 2 (emphasis added) 189 overwhelmingly identity borders. Nevertheless, given the fact that in today‟s world societies are organised along the clearly demarcated territorial borderlines of a specific state, these identity borders are bound to be manifested on a particular territory. It is therefore this reference to a model in the Commission discourse on social policy that clearly relates the articulations in the social dimension, the EMoS and the ESM, to construction, reconstruction and decreased salience of EU borders. These are the tendencies I aim to uncover through a detailed examination of the Commission discourse, starting with the trend that leads to the construction of a common space, and hence, decreased significance of internal EU borders.
5.3. De-bordering Tendencies in Commission Social Policy Discourse The references to an EMoS and an ESM in Commission discourse on social policy lead to the construction of a common social space in the EU, which implies the undermining of existing borders between the member states. This is done in two main ways – through promoting mobility and through constructing a common European identity. In comparison to other policy areas (i.e. free movement of people) the promotion of mobility is not as pronounced in the field of social policy. There it is the configuration of identity borders that is predominant and which I therefore examine in greater detail. The Commission discourse constructs common identity in the EU firstly through downplaying the differences between the social orders of the Union‟s members and secondly through using inclusive words, such as the pronouns “our”, “ours”, “we”. These point to the existence of common historical traditions, civilization, experiences, thinking, perceptions, or current challenges and allow the identification of contemporary undertakings as “common action” or “joint endeavour”. All of the above configure borders because they contribute to the undermining of the divisions between the member states of the EU. This part examines these tendencies in the Commission discourse and also looks into how inclusive rhetoric was applied towards the candidate countries from Central and Eastern Europe during the latest Enlargement.
190 5.3.1. De-bordering through promoting mobility and freedom The integrative nature of the EU project implies that its ultimate aim is to create a common area between the member states. This necessitates decreasing the significance of the existing borders. As the previous section has shown, in the area of social policy, this is done through the discourses of the social dimension of the European integration. The first important way in which it contributes to the undermining of existing internal borders is through establishing greater mobility and freedom in the EC/EU. This trend can be traced in the Commission social policy discourse, although it is not as pronounced as in other policy areas (i.e. free movement of people).
As I pointed out above, traditionally the social dimension has been justified as trying to: “facilitate the free movement of labour and to support thereby the creation of a single market.”57 Therefore, from its inception the rationale for the existence of social policy has been to facilitate the achievement of the EC‟s economic aims – the creation of the single market. This tendency is continued in the period after the SEA when the Commission documents assert the necessity to have certain social policy measures in order to have an EC/EU, in which: “decent standards transcend borders alongside capital, goods, services and people.” 58 For: “The Single Market has changed the conditions which shape economic and social policies. Failure of economic and social performance … in one Member State or region, affects the growth potential of the whole.”59 Thus: “the social dimension … must move ahead at the same time as the economic dimension.” 60 These articulations of the European Commission clearly undermine existing borders between the member states. Furthermore, in distinction to the other important debordering line in this Commission discourse, this is done through making the case in favour of increased mobility and freedom in the EU, which is a result of the connection made between the social policy issues and the internal market. Therefore, in this case deJuhani Lönnroth, The European Social Model of the Future, a speech delivered at the EU Conference organised by the Ecumenical EU – Office of Sweden, Brussels, 15.11.2002, p. 5 58 Padraig Flynn, The Social Chapter – Cost or Benefit, SPEECH/96/223, 26.09.1996, p. 2 59 Padraig Flynn, Speech at the Social Policy Forum, SPEECH/98/140, 25.06.1998, p. 3. See also Padraig Flynn, European Social Policy, SPEECH/98/140, 25.06.1998, p. 3; Joaquin Almunia, A European Economic and Social Model for the 21st Century, SPEECH/07/253, 25.04.2007, p. 4 60 European Commission, Programme of the Commission for 1991, DOC/91/1, 23.01.1991, p. 1 191 bordering is articulated through functional spillover. There are two main ways in which this is achieved, by: “a basic set of „minimum standards‟ for the workplace and beyond … guaranteed by law (EU and national), for all people living in Europe and a set of principles, institutions, policy guidelines and policy follow-up agreed at EU level, in order to help Member States to reform employment policies, pension policies, anti-poverty policies and healthcare policies.”61 The envisaged benefits of the increased visibility of the Union in employment and social issues are to: “improve coordination of economic, employment and social policies, ensuring that all EU citizens share in the fruits of growth [;] help to drive better conditions for business and our economies generally and … change people‟s perception of the EU for the better”.62 However, in distinction to the Commission discourses in other policy areas (such as free movement of people), there are no direct references to the fact that the measures undertaken will increase mobility and freedom.
Instead, the most pronounced way in which this discourse undermines internal borders is its contribution towards the establishment of a common European identity between the member states.
5.3.2. Downplaying the differences between the social orders in the Member States of the EU There is a growing body of academic literature that points to the existence of different social models in contemporary EU. These are a result of the different redistributive and social protection policies in different countries. Scholars have identified several models, which (although variations in the classification and labeling exist) usually are referred to as Anglo-Saxon (neo-liberal), Continental, Scandinavian (Nordic), and Southern.63 Despite this, the EMoS and the ESM refer to a European model, which implies 61 Anna Diamantopoulou, Future perspectives for the European Social Model, SPEECH/03/419, 17.09.2003, p. 3 62 Ibid.
63 For a good overview of the existing literature on the typology of welfare states and an outline of the main characteristics of the different types of welfare states see Wilhelmus Antonius Arts, John Gelissen, „Three Worlds of Welfare capitalism or More? A State-of-the-Art Report‟, Journal of European Social Policy, 12: 2 (2002), pp. 137-158; Bernhard Ebbinghaus, „Does a European Social Model Exist and Can it Survive?‟ in Gerhard Huemer, Michael Mesch, Franz Traxler (eds), The Role of Employer Association and Labour Unions 192 that whatever the differences between the existing models, the commonalities between them are more important. I will illustrate this point with several quotations from Commission officials. In 1996 Commissioner Flynn argued: “Yes, there is a tremendous diversity within the spectrum of those systems. In the Scandinavian Countries, social protection is a right enjoyed equally by all citizens. In Germany, Austria, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, benefits are mostly earnings-related … But what I am saying is that one thing stands out: the universal nature and the scope of the social support that European Union governments offer their citizens.” 64 In the same year the former Commission President Jacques Santer when talking about the Commission‟s objectives in the Intergovernmental Conference states that their first objective is the promotion of the ESM and goes on to say that: “… over and above our historical and cultural diversity, we do have – from Portugal in the south to Finland in the north – certain shared ways of organizing our societies.”65 Such articulations lead to decreasing the importance of the division between EU member states. The technique employed by the Commission in its discourse is to start by acknowledging the fact that the social systems in the EU have distinctive characteristics.
However, the articulations that follow after this concession claim that there is an overriding similarity. This effectively undermines the border between the different EU members because it unequivocally puts the emphasis on what is common. This in turn leads to including all countries in the EU as belonging to, being included in the same category (denoted as either EMoS or ESM). Arguably, there is an important rhetorical move that considerably contributes to this downplaying of the existing differences in the social systems in the member states and the consequent diminishment of the significance of the internal border. As the above two examples indicate, the overwhelming majority of statements making this claim about the underlying similarity between the EU‟s members in the EMU – Institutional Requirements for European Economic Policies (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999), pp. 12Padraig Flynn, Perspectives on European Employment and Social Policy, SPEECH/96/110, 06.05.1996, p.