chapter  8
8 Pages

On the future of ‘Social Europe’ – between competitiveness and high social standards

WithMartin Koppernock

Social policy is and will remain in the domain of Member States. However, the European Union (EU) is not simply a free trade area, but founded on certain values including non-discrimination and social protection of posted workers. A high level of competitiveness and high social standards are not contradictory but form a pre-condition for the functioning of the European Single Market. Poland benefits as much as Germany and the EU as a whole not only in terms of gross national product (GNP), but also in fulfilling basic human needs. From the author’s point of view, there are no trade-offs between worker’s rights and fast economic development in Eastern Europe. As recent experience proves, posted workers from Poland do not lose their jobs because of fair competition, but get better payment.