Plaidoyer for a Social Europe

Author:Fernando Vasquez
Publication Date:01 Mar 2020
Plaidoyer for a Social Europe
Entre concurrence et coopération : Europe sociale ou protection par
les États?
Fernando Vasquez
It is with great sadness that his many friends learned of the passing of Fernando Vasquez, on 16 July
2020, in Porto. I met Fernando Vasquez some thirty years ago, at a time when, together with
JeanJacques Paris, another friend who recently passed away, and under the direction of Odile
Quintin in DG V of the European Commission, he was working on building a Social Europe. That
was before the European Union failed as a postliberal orthodoxy, driving along all Member States,
in a race to the lowest social and fiscal bidder. As Frédéric Turlan reminds us, in a tribute published
in the recent issue of Liaisons sociales Europe, n. 502, 23 July2 September 2020, Fernando Vasquez
witnessed with lucidity this backsliding which has heavily contributed to the current disconnection
between citizens and the European project, but it did not prevent him from relentlessly striving for
more justice in the European Union. These efforts, his diagnosis, without complacency, of the
current state of the Union and his most recent suggestions for ensuring both social and economic
convergence under the aegis of solidarity, are retraced in his contribution to the Conference
Revisiting solidarity in Europe, which was held on 18 and 19 June 2018 at the Collège de France in
Paris. To honour his memory and as a testament to his commitment to a certain idea(l) of Europe,
one which is true to its principles of democracy and social justice, here is the text of his contribution,
a call, and his last plaidoyer, for a social Europe.
Alain Supiot, Emeritus Professor at the Collège de France in Paris.
‘“Europehas been on the defensive for a millennium. Now, for half a millennium, it conquered the
world. (...) Seeking for a single programmatic Europeleads only to endless debates about the
*Former Member of the European Commission's DirectorateGeneral for Social Affairs.
The European Law Journal wishes to thank Alan Supiot for his introduction in the Abstract section of this article by Fernando Vasquez.
Ce texte est originellement issu des actes du colloque suivant: Alain Supiot (dir.), Revisiter les solidarités en Europe: Actes du Colloque18 et 19 juin 2018
Collège de France. Revisiter les solidarités en Europe, Juin 2018, Paris, France, disponibles sur le site HAL Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société.
DOI: 10.1111/eulj.12365
Eur Law J. 2020;26:153161. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 153

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