Benoît Cœuré, of ECB has this nice speech giving a social perspective to the European crisis.
I will argue in my remarks that the management of the current crisis is at least as much about social stabilisation as it is about economic stabilisation. At the heart of the crisis, there is the challenge of redefining the social contract to safeguard the sustainability of Europe’s social economy model. This model, set out in the Maastricht Treaty, notably aims to promote “social justice”, “solidarity between generations” and “solidarity among Member States”.
In my view, in order to ensure the sustainability of the social contract and to fulfil its promises both at national and European level, we need three elements: (i) a broad consensus on the definition of fairness, the forms of solidarity and the conditions attached to it; (ii) an institutional architecture ensuring its legitimacy and stability; and (iii) effective policy instruments. As I will strive to show, a redefinition of the social contract in Europe is essential if we are to restore the sustainability of public policies as well as trust in the state’s ability to positively influence economic outcomes. In other words, it is a matter of enhancing the sustainability of national social contracts in a reshaped European framework. Such an evolution will inevitably change the organisation and role of the state, as well as the institutional architecture of Economic and Monetary Union. But this does not mean moving away from the concept of the European social market economy. It means preserving it and consolidating it for the future.