Is a European Social union desirable ? And is it feasible ? Many politicians are skeptic about this issue. In this paper we turn to normative political philosophy in order to dismiss this skepticism. We show that arguments in favor of the implementation of
egalitarian social justice at a national scale can be expanded to supranational institutions like the EU. Also, we argue that, ultimately, justice should be cosmopolitan. Theories of cosmopolitan justice already set an agenda for Europe. Moreover, the EU could develop its own legitimacy by convincing its citizens of the importance of the public goods it provides. Feasibility constraints play an important role in the reflection on how social justice should be implemented at the European level. Although there are clear advantages in organizing forms of interindividual redistribution within the EU, we suggest that, for the following years, Europe should rather focus on the expansion of social investment in the enhancement of the basic capabilities of the poorest European citizens.
|Please click below to read the article from Antoon Vandevelde (2014), "Ethical Justifications of Social Europe", Working Paper, Euroforum KU Leuven. |
Thanks a lot to Antoon Vandevelde for allowing the publication of this article.