Dywergencja i konwergencja w rozwoju europejskiej polityki społecznej
DIVERGENCE AND CONVERGENCE IN DEVELOPMENT OF EUROPEAN SOCIAL POLICY
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The article considers in which ways European welfare states are becoming more similar and in which ones they continue to differ. On the one hand, historical and institutional differences at national level lead to coexistence of different welfare regimes, and to divergence rather than convergence in social policy. The author identifies five principal types of welfare states in Europe: the continental, Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, Mediterranean and post-Communist ones. On the other hand, globalization, regional integration, demographic changes and other similar or common challenges lead to a higher degree of convergence in social policies among European countries. The European Union sets as one of its objectives to decrease diversity among Member States in terms of social protection policies. In practice, however, despite some evidence of welfare state convergence, the process is far from impressive. It is also debatable whether the superimposition of a single European Social Model is likely to undermine the reforming efforts of the EU countries in the area of social policy.
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