Frank Vandenbroucke © Friends of Europe – Flickr
Solidarity in the European Union
Lecture by Frank Vandenbroucke on 24 April 2023
In this lecture deputy prime minister and minister for social affairs and public health Frank Vandenbroucke will focus on three interrelated topics.
First, he will dwell on the relation between the European Union and the welfare state. While welfare state solidarity largely remains within the boundaries of nation-states, the latter do not operate in a vacuum. As he will argue, solidarity understood as income insurance and redistribution is of key importance in a multilevel perspective and in the development of what he calls a European Social Union.
Second, minister Vandenbroucke will reflect on the lessons learned from the COVID-pandemic. COVID-19 not only made clear that an inclusive welfare state makes it easier to fight a pandemic, it also showed that even well-organised national welfare states reach their limits in the face of such a transnational challenge. European solidarity was key to reinforce national response capacities.
Third, the minister will shed light on the EU social agenda beyond 2024 by highlighting the priorities Belgium will put forward when it holds the presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2024.
After the lecture Ms Kathleen Van Brempt, Member of the European Parliament (S&D), and Mr Karel Lannoo, CEO of CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies), will reflect on minister Vandenbroucke’s presentation and go into dialogue with him.
The discussion will be moderated by Sarah Marchal, professor of Social Policy at the Herman Deleeck Centre of the University of Antwerp.
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