Europeanization, Decentralization and Welfare Reform

September 2005
Instituto de Políticas y Bienes Públicos (IPP) CSIC, Working Paper 2005-08

Luis Moreno

Europeanization can be regarded as a process that finds expression in the gradual redefinition of state sovereignty and the development of supranational common institutions (e.g. Agreement of Schengen, Court of Justice, Euro currency). In parallel, territorial subsidiarity seeks to provide for a greater sub-state say in areas of social policy-making often linked to cultural or identity considerations. This paper deals with welfare development in the European social model in contemporary times. While a paradigm shift in macro-economic policies has allowed for monetary centralisation and a growing matching of EU internal 'open' markets, the quest for the decentralization of welfare programmes has also aimed at meeting demands for policy innovation and a more effective management. Allegedly, welfare provision by sub-state diversity may affect collective solidarity and redistribution. The emergence of new social risks and the role played by the mesogovernments in welfare reform in Europe are also subject to analysis and discussion in this paper.