Uniunea Europeana
The social policy sphere has never been one where the European institutions were given much power to act. At most what the European Commission can do is recommend a line of action to the member states and fix, in various official documents and treaties some guidelines for the development of legislation aiming, among other things, at diminishing the number of the poor or the unemployed.
Yesterday morning, after a politically charged Sunday which announced that the Francois Hollande has won the first round of the French presidential elections, the Euractiv news site announced that Eurostat (European Union's statistics agency) published a new set of figures measuring this time the level of the "underemployment" in the European Union.

The article raises several very interesting questions. The first and most important one refers to the economic crisis. Is this indeed over and if not and we are still faced with difficulties how long will this last?  The unemployment level seems to be on the rise and according to the quoted Eurostat report, part of the unemployed already stopped looking for a job.
If we couple these results with the declining demographics and the anti-immigration feelings at the EU level, we might end up asking ourselves what exactly will happen to for instance our pension funds? As the EU pension systems are pay-as-you go systems we might in the end need to work until later on in life diminishing thus the actual time spent during retirement. This idea has been currently taken into account  in Poland where it generated an interesting debate. This is to be followed by an official legal debate in the Polish Sejm (Parliament) on April, 26th.

The second interesting question regards the data available in the Eurostat's report from the 19th of April, 2012. If more people employed in part-time jobs wished they could work more what should be done and at which level in order to ensure their safe transition to full employment? The issue however is not so simple as it depends on two important elements: the work culture (some countries already see an increase in the desire to work part-time) and the legislation. As the report does actually show the percentage of people employed part-time who would like to work more is higher in countries such as Greece or Latvia and much lower in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The last and actually one of the most important elements regards legislation. It is here where theoretically the European Union's institutions could play a stronger role. However, for the moment at least all that the European Commission can do is recommend courses of action to the member states. See for instance the debate about the minimum wage.

These are just some of the most recent social developments on the background of still shaky economic recovery and on-going elections in France, pending for next year in Germany and Italy. Additionally, the ideological fight between the federalists and the inter-governmentalists is likely to increase with more and more voices underlining the necessity to develop better political and economic cooperation within the EU.

Many things can be said about the European Union, its institutions and its political leaders. It has complex decision-making mechanisms, it ensures freedom of movement, it is too demanding or maybe not strict enough. Some people want to leave it and others want to stay in it forever. Some people want to steer it towards a more inter-governmental design whilst others want more and more integration.
But, these are just general things describing the current political situation of the land we live in. How does all this look like from the communities' point of view? Do people really understand how it works? Is there sufficient information so that maybe one day we will be prepared to go multinational in our elections for the European Parliament?
These are just some of the questions this blog intends to answer and because the themes of study or interest in European Union are so many I have stopped at the two most important ones: social and political.
This blog will try to bring to light different kinds of ideas, concrete examples, models to follow as well as to attempt to explain the way in which most of our legislation is currently produced and how, just how exactly it all works together.
I hope you will all be joining me down the path into this wonderful journey towards the discovery of this magical land which the experts call social reality.

Multe lucruri pot fi spuse despre Uniunea Europeana, institutiile sale si oamenii politici europeni. Uniunea foloseste mecanisme complexe in luarea deciziilor, asigura libertatea de miscare a tuturor membrilor sai, poate fi uneori prea aspra prin cerintele sale sau alteori nu indeajuns de stricta. Unii oameni vor sa o paraseasca, pe cand altii ar dori sa traiasca aici pentru totdeauna. Unii doresc sa dezvolte un mecanism interguvernamental de coordonare a politicilor sale, pe cand altii vor din ce in ce mai multa integrare.
Dar, toate aceste lucruri sunt in general cunoscute si descriu foarte pe larg realitatea politica a bucatii de pamant pe care traim. Cum arata insa totul din punctul de vedere al comunitatilor? Oamenii de rand chiar inteleg ei cum Uniunea functioneaza? Este oare intr-adevar atat de multa informatie in asa fel incat sa putem sa ajungem vreodata sa votam multinational pentru Parlamentul European?
Acestea sunt numai cateva din intrebarile la care acest blog intentioneaza sa raspunda si pentru ca temele de studiu sau interes asupra Uniunii Europene sunt multe eu m-am oprit numai la cele mai importante: sfera sociala si cea politica.
Acest blog va incerca sa puna in evidenta moduri noi de gandire, exemple concrete, modele de urmat, dar va incerca in acelasi timp sa explice modul in care legislatia nationala este produsa si cum exact totul reuseste sa functioneze impreuna.
Sper ca ma veti urma pe micul, dar minunatul drum al cunoasterii acestei realitati pe care expertii o numesc realitatea sociala. 

European Union