Interview with Maurizio Ferrera by European Commission's DG Research and Innovation On January 27 the College of Commissioners hosted an orientation debate on President Juncker's initiative on establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights. The initiative is part of the Commission's goal to achieve a European "Triple A" in employment and social affairs. DG RTD Open and Inclusive Societies asked Prof. Maurizio Ferrera to elucidate the issues at stake and to help set the parameters of a constructive debate. Maurizio Ferrera is Professor of Political Science at the University of Milan. He has been serving on various Advisory Commissions at national and EU levels as well as on several editorial boards of academic journals and publishers. Professor Ferrera has published widely in the fields of comparative welfare states and European Integration. His last book in English is The Boundaries of Welfare (Oxford University Press, 2005, French translation in 2009); in Italian he has recently published Rotta di collisione. Euro contro welfare? (Laterza, 2016) . In 2013 he has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for a five-year project on “Reconciling Economic and Social Europe: ideas, values and consensus” (Resc-EU). In relation to the Commission's initiative on a European Pillar of Social Rights, what do you think its priorities should be? What kind of benchmarks for upward convergence in employment and social affairs would you put forward? And how would they fit into existing policy and coordination processes? It is important to situate the discussion of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) within the wider strategy that President Juncker outlined in his last State of the Union speech. That speech has revealed a novel sensitivity to the political dimension of the EU, understood in the deep sense of preserving stability, order, mutual trust and compliance, common interests, fairness; and, through all this, regaining legitimacy for the EU as a necessary condition for guaranteeing liberty, security, equity and prosperity. The EPSR is mentioned as one of the key policy measures of the new “political” strategy. The term EPSR is an ambitious one, it contains a high symbolic potential which must not be squandered by immediately collapsing this policy measure into a technical “work program” about the legal modernization of the acquis, new benchmarks and even more “targetology”. The “pillar” metaphor evokes something strong, robust, foundational, durable. To build a new pillar, one needs good scaffolding. In the case of the EPSR, this scaffolding must be intellectual and “visionary”. It should build and capitalize on two notions which are at the core of the European Social Model and the way it is understood by national policy makers and public opinions: social protection and social investment. In what way is the EPSR linked with these two spheres/components? What is its distinctive contribution? As far as social protection is concerned, I suggest that the strategic long term goal should be that of defining a common EU safety net, especially within the Eurozone. The crisis has shown that when asymmetric shocks suddenly hit, the very livelihoods…
Curious about how social Europe is perceived in the media? The EUvisions observatory is the place to look! A new section is available on the website. It is called Ideas Monitor, and it presents regular overviews of the public intellectual debate on social Europe, as it emerges from traditional media outlets, such as newspapers and magazines, as well as online publications and the wider blogosphere.   More new sections will soon be available on the EUvisions observatory, stay tuned!
Nell’autunno del 2012 Luuk Van Middelaar, un filosofo belga prestato alla politica, mi invitò ad incontrare Herman Van Rompuy... Read more here. 
Ieri a Strasburgo si sono incontrate, e in parte scontrate, due diverse Europe: quella delle istituzioni sovranazionali (il padrone di casa era il Parlamento) e quella degli Stati membri. Hollande e Merkel hanno parlato di questioni che riguardano tutti, avendo però in mente le priorità e gli interessi dei loro due Paesi... Merkel e Hollande, l’occasione perduta dell’Europa is out on Il Corriere della Sera. Read ithere.
Come può un Paese ricco chiudersi a riccio di fronte al dramma dei profughi?Read the Corriere della Sera article by Maurizio Ferrera on solidarity and Denmark here.
A conversation on Europe between Maurizio Ferrera and Jens Alber is available in La Lettura (Il Corriere della Sera). Read it here.
Two new nwespaper articles on the crisis and the EU by Maurizio Ferrera are available on his website: Cari intellettuali, sull’Unione siete ingenui e poco ambiziosi and Un leader e un patto politico per un’Europa «all’americana», both issued on Il Corriere della Sera.   
Read the latest essay by Maurizio Ferrera Partiti, rappresentanza, Europa on "Il Mulino".
A discussion between Maurizio Ferrera, EUI Alumnus and Professor of Political Science at the State University of Milan and Professor Brigid Laffan, director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced studies. Together they explore the existing tensions between two of the continent’s crowning achievements, the European Union and the welfare state and how each was affected by the recent economic crisis.

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