The Guardian published the transcript
of an interview with Anthony Giddens
about New Labour, the Lisbon Agenda and labour market reforms. The message for Europe, or better, for Germany, Italy and France: a flexicurity model. Reform of the labour market and at the same time taking care of those who lose out. Here are a few of his statements.
About Lisbon and the European Social Model:
You get all these detailed prescriptions about what should be done at the level of the economy. Even this great hit list which countries are supposed to follow. But most of the material on so called social exclusion and so forth tends to be very vague, that goes along with it. So I tend to think there should be more detailed programmes for how you cope with, for example, dislocation of workers who lose their jobs as a result of technological change and changing patterns of social justice.
About the big three (France, Italy, Germany):
The key issue is: is there enough shock in France and Germany and Italy to produce those changes because a great deal of Europe’s unemployment is concentrated in those three countries?
On the Lisbon Future:
Hopefully a hardened version of the Lisbon agenda, some policy innovations like the European Institute of Technology and hopefully more concession to the idea that you need to show that we are doing something to help those who lose from these changes. That is what feel to be a fundamental thing missing from the Lisbon agenda.
Giddens was interviewed on the occasion of the presentation of a pamphlet on the European Social Model. This pamphlet is a collection of papers of a group of European academics and the product of several discussions initiated by the Policy Network
in July 2005. In October 2005, an ‘Open Letter on the Future of Europe
‘, co-written by Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck
, has been published in newspapers across Europe in order to stimulate a debate on the future of the European social model.
The papers will be published later this year but can also be found at 10 Downing Street
(see discussion papers).