By: Rubio, E (2015)
The EU has traditionally been considered a model of regional integration for other regions of the world but can we draw lessons from the way it has dealt with social cohesion issues? This is the question explored in this Policy paper and four major conclusions stand out from it:
- The history of the European project reveals that regional integration can hardly be confined to the economic domain.
- What explains the important EU involvement in the social field over the years is the strong attachment of European citizens to their social protection systems and to a regulated model of market capitalism.
- Supra-national interventions in the social field are to be respectful and/or compatible with the existence of different social policy preferences and national social protection systems.
- Convincing public opinions about the benefits of EU membership and giving them a say in the process of European integration has become crucial to secure its future.