Newsletter of the European Foundation on Social Quality

European Journal of Social Quality, January-December 2001 | Go to article overview

Newsletter of the European Foundation on Social Quality


Foundation Rewarded Twice by the Ec

The considerable labour of many over the last three years to develop the concept of social quality, has finally been rewarded by the European Commission. Not just one, but two projects will be implemented with financial support from Brussels. The first of these projects is concerned with the development of indicators of social quality and the second one seeks to apply the theory to employment. This can be seen as recognition of the importance of the work that has been done so far and an incentive to carry on with our task.

The first project proposal has been submitted to a call of the 5th Framework Programme of DG XII, more specifically in the Socio-economic Research part of the horizontal programme 'Improving the Human Resource Potential'. By the end of December 2000 the Foundation received the approval of this proposal. As the Evaluation Summary Report said: 'The project is very valuable for any national and European policy in the socio-economic sphere. It has to be carried out as an international comparative project because of the multi-dimensionality of the concept of 'social quality'. It can be expected that this project's outcomes will play an important role in future national and European policy-making. (...) The newly established European Journal of Social Quality will be an adequate outlet for the results.' During the next three years a thematic network of institutes in 16 member-states of the EU will develop the applicability of the social quality approach by creating indicators, and therefore elaborate the results of the second book 'Social Quality: A Vision for Europe' (see below).

The second project is the result of a proposal to DG V of the EC, reflecting the papers prepared for the issue of the Journal on 'employment policies and social quality' (Vol. 2 / 2). In co-operation with 6 institutes in Europe, the Foundation will apply the social quality approach to the policy domain of employment. The first project meeting has been held on 28th and 29th of June, 2001, in Amsterdam.

Out Now: 'Social Quality: A Vision for Europe'

The beginning of this year was not just marked by the EC rewards, but also by the publication on which both projects are based, the second book of the Foundation: Social Quality: A Vision for Europe (Kluwer Law International, The Hague, January 2001, hardbound). This volume represents the outcome of two years of intensive debate about the future of Europe. It aims to provide the European Union with a vision: one that will unite all of its citizens and help to create the democratic legitimacy that the EU currently lacks. It builds on the first book on social quality, The Social Quality of Europe, which introduced the concept and which has been enthusiastically received by both the scientific and policy communities.

The book develops three crucial elements of social quality: the theoretical validity of the concept, its practical application, and its identity or 'genetic code'.

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