The EU-funded EUSOCIALCIT project will review policies to boost European social citizenship. It will develop a resource-based, multi-level concept of social rights at EU, national and local levels. The project will also identify the shortcomings of the institutions and gauge citizens’ attitudes. By analysing current realities and alternative policy options, it will provide new indicators and implementation studies on social investment, working conditions, minimum income protection and housing.
EUSOCIALCIT will combine conceptual top-down and empirical bottom-up approaches. While we begin with a theoretical discussion of the rationale for strengthening social rights and EU citizenship and a novel conceptualization of social rights, we also study citizens’ needs and aspirations and the specific contributions the EU could make, especially in light of the EPSR and its attendant reform agenda. Our research will focus on three core domains that mirror the building blocks of the EPSR and which constitute key social prerequisites for sustainable development: the empowerment of EU citizens, fairness in the labour market, and social inclusion.
EUSOCIALCIT will provide scientific analysis and examine policy scenarios to strengthen European social citizenship. It focuses on three domains that mirror the building blocks of the European Pillar of Social Rights (the empowerment of citizens, fair working conditions and social inclusion) and pursues five objectives:
- Bring together long-standing rival approaches to European social citizenship, and develop a resource-based, multi-level concept of social rights (recognizing that the resources supporting social rights can be located at EU, national and local levels).
- Understand the current state of social rights and their relationship to outcomes (social and gender inequality, poverty and precariousness).
- Diagnose the shortcomings of the institutions that generate undesirable outcomes.
- Understand attitudes, preferences and the demand for change among citizens, and the constraints and opportunities these create for the EU social agenda.
- Develop alternative policy scenarios to strengthen European social rights, in particular, to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Based on these data sources, EUSOCIALCIT will conduct a coordinated array of analyses suited to our resource-based understanding of social rights. This will involve six types of research design and method namely; legal analysis, the descriptive categorization of clusters of approaches, policy implementation studies, the development of three new sets of indicators and metrics, the linked quantitative and qualitative analysis of public opinion, gauging congruence between policies and opinions.