By François Denuit
‘Social Europe’. These two terms have been used to mean many different things. Do they refer to the current social policies of the European Union? To the need to have a common European social welfare system? To the development of a left-wing agenda to balance the current monetarist and neo-liberal mainstream? Social Europe is vaguely defined and certainly reflects a little of all the questions above. The European social dimension is at a crossroad where the desirability for common European solutions is high but the diversity of national political preferences, fiscal regimes and social protection systems often make them appear to be unlikely.