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Turkey, the EU and Social Policy
Social Policy and Society / Volume 6 / Issue 04 / October 2007, pp 491 - 501
DOI: 10.1017/S1474746407003831, Published online: 19 September 2007
Link to this article: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S1474746407003831
How to cite this article:
Nick Manning (2007). Turkey, the EU and Social Policy. Social Policy and Society, 6, pp 491-501 doi:10.1017/S1474746407003831 Request Permissions : Click here
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Social Policy & Society 6:4, 491–501 Printed in the United Kingdom
C 2007 Cambridge University Press doi:10.1017/S1474746407003831
Turkey, the EU and Social Policy∗
School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
This paper considers what we might expect to be the effect on social policy of Turkish accession to the EU by reviewing the impact of EU membership on social policy in other new member and candidate countries. This effect begins long before membership is ﬁnalised, and continues long after membership has been achieved. The patterns of impact can be divided along a number of dimensions: between ‘accession’ and ‘enlargement’; state and civil society; centre and periphery; formal and substantive; and different welfare institutions. In the course of reviewing these variations, the paper reﬂects upon the nature of social policy itself, and in particular the nature of the European Social Model.
There have been a number of waves of new membership to the EU. Issues of social policy have been analysed most clearly in relation to two of these. The ﬁrst was the accession between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s of the smaller states of Ireland (1973), Greece
(1981), and Spain and Portugal (1986). The second was the simultaneous accession of
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus in 2004. In this paper, we will look at some lessons that we might learn from these two earlier waves that can help us understand the factors that will affect social policy in other candidate countries, particularly Turkey.
What is social policy?
EU social policy is rather different from social policy as understood from the perspective of the nation state. We can characterise national social policies as addressing three social functions, but not all of them are equally salient at the level of the EU. The ﬁrst is to support the development of the productive capacity of a nation. This can be seen clearly in the development of education systems as one of the earliest areas of state social intervention in modern nations, oriented towards improving the productive capacity of young people and aligning them to the requirements of the labour market (Bowles and
Gintis, 1976), for example in terms of universal literacy. The second is designed to support the reproduction of the society, both physically and socially, for example the development of health care systems and the monitoring and protection of children’s well-being. The third is the meeting of the needs of non-productive citizens such as the elderly on the basis of retaining the solidarity and legitimacy of the social system, as a signal that social needs will be met for the currently productive in their later lives.
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W h a t i s t h e s h a p e o f Tu r k i s h s o c i a l p o l i c y ?
The development of Turkish social policy in the twentieth century has been dominated by two factors. The ﬁrst has been the relatively recent emergence…