Issues In Contemporary Europe Social Policy Essay

The European Union aspires to organize a common societal policy which promotes societal values such as self-respect, equality, solidarity, justness and freedom.

Social policy is perceived as an activity of the Union which is expected to better the societal and economic state of affairs of the weakest societal groups within the EU. These are ends which can be achieved via societal and economic development. It has been applied by ordinances in Article 117 EC, which states that: “ Member States agree upon the demand to advance improved on the job conditions and an improved criterion of life for workers, so as to do possible their harmonization while the betterment is being maintained. They believe that such a development will guarantee non merely from the operation of the common market, which will favor the harmonization of societal systems, but besides from the processs provided in this Treaty and from the estimate of commissariats laid down by jurisprudence, ordinance or administrative action ” ( Eurofound, 2007 ) . Although it all seems to be really promising, ambitious and gives hope for a better hereafter, some people still appear to hold a negative attitude towards European societal policy. This essay will try to explicate the grounds why EU citizens may experience frustrated by EU societal policy. This will be achieved through analysis of the two cardinal societal policy issues of the EU – gender equality and instruction. Consequently, this essay will utilize a assortment of illustrations from different states such as Poland, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Portugal, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Slovakia and Slovenia to back up the statement.

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Finally, this essay will measure the opportunities of an betterment in the close hereafter.Social policy is concerned with many facets of peoples ‘ lives and is meant to promote the achievement the fulfillment of human rights for every citizen of the EU, as agreed on in the societal charter, 1961. Throughout the 1960 ‘s the EU did non hold a big influence over the member provinces, they simply performed a supportive function. By the 1970 ‘s the state of affairs changed and there were equal intervention commissariats every bit good as directives refering the workers ‘ rights in the instance of mass dismissal and companies ‘ bankruptcy.

The Treaty of Amsterdam 1999 possessed a figure of directives which endeavoured to officially widen the socio-political purposes of the Union. These concerned reduction degrees of unemployment, bettering life criterions and working conditions, sensible societal protection, increased the societal duologue and the bar from exclusion ( Dinan, 2005 ) . However, EU citizens may experience frustrated by EU societal policy as it seems that societal issues are non the major concern in the EU docket. Although Social policy is guaranteed in most European member provinces ‘ fundamental laws, the Union has non yet managed to carry through a successful common societal policy throughout the full European Union. On legion occasions the general populace within the EU feels degrees of hopelessness as societal policy does non reflect their desires. There are many countries where EU still fails to accomplish antecedently defined guidelines and the grounds are multiple.The European Union states on its web site, that “ Equality between adult females and work forces is one of the cardinal rules of Community jurisprudence ” ( europa.

eu, 2009 ) . However, the EU ‘s citizens still have ground to be dissatisfied with the consequences the EU has achieved in recent decennaries. Many adult females, on a day-to-day footing, still inquire themselves the same inquiry: Why am I gaining less than my male co-workers, although we do the same occupation? In its latest study published in January 2008, the Commission presents the facts, which reflects the on-going favoritism and inequality in the labor market, impacting chiefly adult females.

Even though, equal wage for equal work is one of the indispensable political orientations of the European Union, adult females across the EU still earn on norm 17.4 per centum less than work forces. This reflects the state of affairs in the bulk of European states. In conformity with that, the German newspaper “ Die Welt ” has prepared a study on last twelvemonth ‘s wages in the European Union. The largest income disparity exists in Estonia ( 30.

3 % ) , The Netherlands ( 23.6 % ) , Slovakia ( 23.4 % ) , Cyprus ( 23.1 % ) and Poland ( 17.5 % ) . In comparing Italy has a far lower inequality in wages, merely 4 % difference in favor of work forces.

Slovenia and Portugal have an 8.3 % difference ( PRACA echo dnia, 2009 ) . Furthermore, figure of adult female in high degree executive places is still low throughout the EU. The fact is that merely a really low per centum of adult females hold managerial places, which can be explained by the fact that adult female have extended pregnancy leave when raising and educating kids, whilst work forces appear to continually mount the calling ladder. Most adult females do non return to work, and therefore they can non follow their callings as rapidly and successfully as work forces. Womans have to equilibrate their work and their private lives and it can be argued that many adult females soon feel they have to make up one’s mind between a calling and a household.

In many instances, after the pregnancy period, adult females return to work but may confront tremendous letdowns affecting a decrease in working hours or contractual changes. Unacceptably, these jobs still exist despite the Treaty of Rome in 1957 which attempted to implement steps which would ease bettering gender equality. Harmonizing to the EU web site, “ Access to employment, including publicity, and to vocational preparation ; working conditions, including wage ; occupational societal security strategies are three chief capable countries in the directing 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the execution of the rule of equal chances and equal intervention of work forces and adult females in affairs of employment and business ” (, 2009 ) . However, in the last two decades the Council of Europe and the European Commission formed establishments, gave many more directives and appointed officers to make its end of gender mainstreaming, but still has non achieved it.Education is another cause why EU citizens my feel frustrated by the societal policy. The European Union implements many reforms, programmes and enterprises which aim to advance instruction and preparation. There is an eternal list of aims that are being pursued in order to back up societal and educational development.

However, EU citizens in many member provinces feel that those are merely ineffectual directives which are non traveling to alter current state of affairs in their states. Unfortunately, the state of affairs is uneven within the EU which causes exasperation and negative attitude towards the Union. Hypothetically, EU citizens are able to analyze in every state that belongs to the EU.

Harmonizing to the EC web site, “ The EU has allocated some ˆ7 billion to lifelong larning for the period 2007-2013 ” . The chief elements of the inaugural include: “ Leonardo district attorney Vinci, Erasmus, Grundtvig and Comenius ” which are programmes that are supposed support “ pupil mobility, cooperation between universities ” and so on (, 2009 ) . However, for case, English grades are makings which are non recognized in Spain therefore cut downing the positive facets of the enterprises. Despite the debut of the Europass papers, in order to enable employers “ to understand and recognize makings from other states ” , this has non cajoled them into using foreign citizens from many member provinces (, 2009 ) . However, analyzing abroad gives many people tremendous chances to larn foreign linguistic communication and to understand different civilizations. Despite the EU directives this huge chance can be crushed by deficiency of cooperation between member provinces and a immense differentiation that occurs within the EU.

As stated, another really correspondent issue which is really frustrating for the pupils is the fact that their BA grade from their native state is non accepted in some other member provinces. Furthermore, many pupils desire to make analyze for their MA grade in the UK but a batch of them do non hold that chance due to the non comparable instruction systems. As encouragingly stated on the EU web site, “ In higher instruction, the EU is working with 19 other states through the ‘Bologna Process ‘ to make a European Higher Education Area ( EHEA ) by 2010, which procedure promotes common acknowledgment of periods of survey, comparable makings and unvarying quality criterions ” (, 2009 ) . However, the current state of affairs is rather dissatisfying. For case, in many instances pupils from Poland who have finished two old ages of surveies can non go on to analyze on the concluding twelvemonth in the UK. They have merely one option and which would be to get down the same class from the beginning. Furthermore, money plays a critical function in about every facet of our lives.

The same applies to the instruction. In some states higher instruction is free. However, in the UK tuition fees are really high and in many instances pupils can non afford to pay for them.

EU citizens analyzing in England can use for pupils support but it does non intend they are ever eligible to have it. In 2009 academic twelvemonth pupils from many states such as Poland, France, Germany, Romania, Latvia were refused their pupils loan. Despite the fact they are citizens of the EU they did non work in England for two old ages prior their class, this state of affairs is really dissatisfactory for many as non holding a Home Office permission should non be the make up one’s minding factor in respects to fostering 1s instruction. The EU on its website provinces that “ The Youth in Action programme promotes active engagement in the community and supports undertakings giving immature people a greater sense of EU citizenship ” ( europa.

eu, 2009 ) . However, the diverseness between member provinces is prodigious therefore societal policy may non be good in all countries. Furthermore, as described on the same web site: “ a greater sense of EU citizenship ” , frequently transforms into defeat and letdown (, 2009 ) .

Education and gender inequality are major societal policy issues in the European Union. Factors that will better current state of affairs are legion. For illustration, advancement could be made to better the fortunes which adult females face, by a more extended handiness of kid attention installations.

Soon, for case, adult females in Poland are forced to restrict their callings to look after their kids due to a deficit in baby’s rooms. Furthermore, a sensible and equal gender equality policy is required which takes into history adult females ‘s pensions and more flexible working conditions which would in bend aid to better bing conditions in many states. Additionally, it is hoped that the European Institute for Gender Equality, formed in 2007, will light a job related to favoritism based on gender more efficaciously and advance a battle against it. Optimistically, if the EU put more force per unit area on the member states societal policy, there is a larger opportunity for an betterment. Furthermore, societal policy can be besides more successful in footings of instruction. Theoretically, there are no boundary lines within the EU and the Union is making a batch to back up acquisition. However, as stated earlier there are unseeable frames around the EU that are still impossible to get the better of. Those frames reflect obstinacy of the national authoritiess and if there was greater cooperation between member states societal policy would be a singular chance for immature people.

By doing educational system more comparable within the EU, it will carry through more consonant construction of the makings therefore more occupation chances in the hereafter. Rather than more bureaucratism, better administration would be helpful to accomplish pursued marks.The current fiscal crisis has spread around the universe, its far-reaching impact doing defeat and choler. That is why the close hereafter will be “ critical for Social Europe ” ( Rubio, 2009 ) . If the EU does non reevaluate societal marks, so Social Europe will non vouch gender equality and instruction for all.

This may ensue in the European Union non being a topographic point that people want to belong to. We need more harmonization and restructuring which will better chance for Social Europe to last. Despite many differences, Europe is still a continent with societal similarities ; as Rubio suggests “ It is clip to compose a new societal docket for Europe ” ( ibid ) . An advanced reform would hopefully decrease the effects of economic crisis and many people ‘s defeat and wretchedness with present fortunes. If societal policy had been stronger in the yesteryear, there would hold been less likeliness of failure and less general public letdown. However, there is ever a opportunity for a development and correcting errors. As declared and explained earlier the ground of the EU citizen ‘s defeat are multiple.

However, as many causes exist there should be the same sum of solutions for those troubles to get the better of. By solutions, we should understand the long-run instruments that will assist the EU community to better incorporate within different civilizations. Peoples are ever likely to accommodate easier if they have the necessary societal infinite for their values to be considered as a manner of part to the quality of life and assist societal protection in a broader position.

The EU citizens should ever consolidate their societal position by esteeming everyone ‘s rules of how this large societal household should work and what aims can be named as incorrect and right. Acting locally to the jobs and non merely analysing them in the theory will be an effectual manner of doing certain that the EU societal protection strategy is successful.


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