||Unemployment and Welfare State Reform: The Lisbon Agenda
The problems of unemployment and welfare state reform are inextricably linked. Many criticize the European Union for failing to respond to the "jobs crisis", and feel that European integration has only made matters worse. The French veto of the European Constitutional Treaty serves as just one example of how unemployment and welfare state reform are problems with vast implications. The weakness of European economic growth rates, the volatility of European electorates, the rise of extremist political parties on the right and the left, and the heightened salience of issues like immigration, multiculturalism, and racial or religious intolerance all can be traced back to the same juxtaposition of unemployment and welfare state reform. Why is the EU held responsible - and why do EU politicians accept responsibility - for a combination of policy issues which " Europe " cannot resolve? What will happen if, as expected, Europe fails to address the problems of unemployment and welfare state reform? How can the worst case scenarios be avoided? And why should we try? This brief explores answers to these questions.
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