Read the executive summary
The EU institutions’ new leaderships are being presented with a highly unusual report. It sets out the strengths and weaknesses of social policies that have been fundamental to the European Union and recommends actions to reaffirm Europe’s social principles while at the same time addressing competitiveness issues.
Austerity and the economic crisis have seen ‘Social Europe’ pushed steadily down the EU’s policy agenda. Friends of Europe therefore convened last year 25 well-known figures spanning a wide range of political opinion under the chairmanship of former Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Social Affairs Minister Frank Vandenbroucke to analyse the facts and propose solutions.
The report’s co-signatories call on Jean-Claude Juncker and his fellow commissioners to take a broader approach to social investment that is essential to avoiding longer-term burdens on economic growth. Their report urges greater investment in the caring of Europe’s deprived and under-privileged, and the education and training that can ensure equality of opportunity.
Against a background of unacceptably high unemployment in so many EU countries, particularly of young people, the report’s key message is that human investment must be equal to physical investment.
Read our report ‘Unequal Europe: Recommendations for a more caring EU’ below. If it fails to load, or if you would prefer to read it offline, then you can also download a PDF version of the report.
Listen to the podcast of the launch event:
Frank Vandenbroucke / Former Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs, Trustee of Friends of Europe and Chairman of the High-Level Group on ‘Social Union’
Philippe de Buck / Member of the European Economic and Social Committee and former Director General of Business Europe
László Andor / Former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion and Trustee of Friends of Europe
In the news:
From Brussels to Shanghai, our very unusual report ‘Unequal Europe: Recommendations for a more caring EU’ attracted widespread media attention.
Juncker urged to revive ‘Social Europe’ model
Juncker’s plan must give equal priority to human investment: report
China Xinhua News
‘Unequal Europe’ report sounds alarm
Social Europe: Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow