Jacques Delors, Michel Dollé

Investing in Social Issues Publication date : April 2, 2009

At a time when economic difficulties and mounting public deficits are driving the welfare state to make significant cutbacks, this book takes the opposite tack by redefining the social state's intervention in the area of employment. For everyone, employment is the greater enabler of social integration and citizenship; it is also the primary insurance against life's hazards.

Investing in a renewed social state requires reframing the principles of social justice that should inform it. An active social state should then invest in protecting careers and in helping the unemployed get back to work. It should also shape family policies to allow each individual to get a job, with a special focus on families in the most precarious situations. Finally, the social state should invest in child development, both within and outside the educational system, so as to come as close as possible to the goal of providing equal opportunities for all.

In the present crisis, it will not suffice to demand more regulations or the overhaul of the financial system. It is the entire social role of the modern State that must be rethought, without forgetting the twin goals of justice and equality.

Jacques Delors offers a new vision of the welfare state, adapted to the challenges and difficulties of the present.

Jacques Delors was France's Minister of the Economy and Finances from 1981 to 1985 and President of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995.

Michel Dollé, an economist, is the general rapporteur for the French Council for Employment, Income and Social Cohesion.