Scholars have recognized the importance of the welfare state in constructing national identity, supporting social solidarity and providing legitimacy to the national state (for a recent discussion see Ferrera, 2005). From this perspective, it may be interesting to analyse European social policy while discussing on European identity. Indeed, the European Union lacks a “European welfare state”, which may be linked to a lack of European identity and of Europe-wide social solidarity – become even more evident with the current crisis.
Indeed, the European integration process has involved the construction of a common market, leaving the social issues to be regulated at country level by national welfare states. In other words, it seems that the economic sphere has been “Europeanised” while the social one has remained national. Continuer la lecture de Can the capability approach help us frame welfare reform in Europe?