Social Market, Social Quality, and the Quality of Social Institutions

in Volume 1 (1999): Issue 1-2 (Jan 1999)
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Social policy plays a very important role in the social quality of Europe, and not only because it considerably affects the life conditions of the population. I will argue that its structure and weight affects at least as much: (a) the possibility of acknowledging as common goods social benefits such as health, education, social security; and (b) the presence of public discourse arenas about these goods, where the daily life of democracy is carried out. This is why social policy holds a great importance even for the building of European democracy, and for Europe's socio-political integration in itself.