This is the first issue of a new journal devoted to the analysis and discussion contemporary social issues in Europe. The launch of an academic journal always a challenge, especially in the field of human sciences, with so many journals of high quality focusing on European sociological or social policy areas, such as the European Journal of Sociology or The European Journal of Social Policy. Moreover The European Journal of Social Quality aims to provide analysis and a debating forum around a theme, social quality, which did not exist five years ago. Indeed, social quality is just starting to establish its legitimacy as an analytical tool as well as a normative principle. We are quite convinced, however, that The European Journal of Social Quality has good prospects become a distinctive platform for important ideas and analysis that will have impact on European societies and citizens at the turn of the century.