2017 Issue No. 22 /June
Table of Contents
- Diana-Gabriela REIANU, Adela NISTOR: THE EUROPEAN PILLAR OF SOCIAL RIGHTS: ADDING VALUE TO THE SOCIAL EUROPE?
The paper analyses the European Commission’s latest major initiative in the social field, the European Pillar of Social Rights, examining the rationale behind this project, the merits and shortcomings of the mentioned proposal. Declared as an initiative that tries to overcome the negative effects of the crisis on the labour markets and social welfare systems, to heal the social wounds of Europe, and to renew convergence within the Euro area, this paper analyses the proposal through the lens of the major challenges that Europe is confronting nowadays, the convergence and divergence trends that we experiment inside the Union. Hence, the paper deals with the following questions: Does this initiative respond to the needs and challenges that Europe is facing today?; Does this initiative envisage policy avenues that encourage social convergence, that are capable of making a decisive impact on poverty, in order to reverse the threat of disintegration that faces the EU today?
- Keywords: European Pillar, social rights, unemployment, social inequality, social policy
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.01
2. Adina REBELEANU, Enikő DEMÉNY: VULNERABILITY OF HEALTH SYSTEMS: LEGAL VERSUS ETHICAL PERSPECTIVE. COMPARATIVE APPROACH HUNGARY AND ROMANIA
The concept of vulnerability is inscribed in the universal specificity of human condition. On the one hand, it expresses human limits and frailty; on the other hand, it represents moral and ethical action principles. Vulnerable persons are those whose autonomy, dignity and integrity are being threatened (Barcelona Declaration, 1998).
We propose a comparative analysis of vulnerability in the access to health services in the framework of the health systems reforms from Romania and Hungary, as of 2012. From a methodological point of view, the legal framework is critically analysed (situate ourselves in the paradigm of critical analysis). We use content analysis of the main law texts from the two national contexts. The association between health and politics happens when the health associated risks are shared in the name of solidarity. Thus, the state presents itself as managing health and, indirectly, individual health. Health policies become a necessity. Or, in this management process, through politicizing the health system, medical practice becomes directed from outside in a bureaucratic way, for the worse of the true beneficiaries of health policies and makes the population become vulnerable.
- Keywords: vulnerability, legal framework, principles, health insurance, vulnerable people
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.02
Focusing on the importance and the role of family-friendly policies (FFPs), this article argues that a stakeholders’ analysis of FFPs enriches the current understanding of this workplace practice. Therefore, what we tried to achieve is a comprehensive stakeholders’ review of FFPs, both theoretical and practical, in order to highlight all the standpoints from opposite corners of the power-interests grid. The theoretical part is completed by a practical one, which was conducted in Norway. The collected data (by way of 6 face-to-face interviews) was analyzed trough grounded theory and extensive comparison, with the purpose of highlighting the similarities and differences between the answers from each of the FFPs stakeholders. The findings of our field research revealed 4 major themes that represent the summary of the respondents’ common opinions related to FFPs: Characteristics (benefits, weaknesses), the Nordic Model of Economy (high female employment rates, equality, strong labor movement), Mentality (good opinion of the society, take it for granted) Involvement of the authorities (trust in the Government, historical changes). The results of the research that led to common main opinions regarding these 4 central themes of FFPs identified among all stakeholders, as well as some differences in the main ideas, represented an unexpected outcome if it were to take into consideration the diversity of needs and characteristics of the different categories of stakeholders involved. These findings bring arguments for the need to reshape the current work-life balance practices for the future, and even consider creating new ones, to benefit a wider and more varied range of actors.
- Keywords:Family friendly policies, social policies, work-life balance, qualitative research, Norway.
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.03
4. Oana ALBESCU, Mircea MANIU: SHARING ECONOMY: EVALUATING ITS STRUCTURAL DIMENSIONS FOR POLICY DESIGN PURPOSES
The current rising in economic polarization maintains an elevate interest for the social and ethical dimensions of the economy. As such, the new modes of wealth creation and redistribution derived from the digital revolution impose themselves as important premises and solutions to old and persistent economic and ethical problems. Sharing economy is a new concept covering recent structural changes of the contemporary economy resulting from the spread of new digital technologies. In order to reach a better understanding of the process of conveying towards such a type of economy we have conveniently distinguished four dimensions of the phenomenon. First of all we classify the economic nature of sharing economy. Following this we try to explain the technology conditions rendering it possible. Thirdly, we confront the controversial present day ethical aspects of the topic and last but not least, we attempt to elaborate on the issues surrounding the emergence of such a comprehensive potential new development model in view of a research-based policy assessment. As such, we have interrogated the academic debate over the sharing economy which is reflected in the controversy surrounding the regulation policy of these atypical economic relations. Though we endeavor to investigate as much as possible the endogenous, Romanian perspective of the topic, in all the above mentioned layers, it is precisely this fourth dimension of our research that gives it a domestic consistency.
- Keywords: sharing economy, non-standard new economy, economic ethics, social economy, policy design
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.04
A deep comprehension of the relation between the cultural characteristics exhibited by society and social issues can have a strong positive effect on the development of more effective and efficient, culturally adapted social policies. This paper focuses on the topic from an EU perspective, recognizing that better coordination of Member States’ social policies and the implicit increase in social integration represent key factors for the broader European integration process (and its objectives of a monetary, fiscal or social nature) and cannot be reached without a full understanding of how cultural differences shape the EU’s economic and social environment. Aimed at identifying relevant links between, on one hand, the cultural dimensions defined and measured by sociologists lead by Hofstede and Schwartz and, on the other, social progress as defined and measured by the Social Progress Index, this paper shows that indeed some cultural characteristics like Hofstede’s indulgence and Schwartz’s embeddedness and egalitarianism are of causal relevance for the social development process. Data indicate that the pivotal role in this causal link is played by the total social expenditures/ GDP per capita, which seem to be influenced by the above mentioned cultural characteristics, further transmitting this influence via their connection with elements relevant to social progress.
- Keywords: social policy; social progress; cultural dimensions
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.05
6. Ana-Maria UDREA (COATU) EUROPEAN EMPLOYMENT GUIDELINES: FROM THEORY TO EU TREATIES
Nowadays, in connection with work force and employment policies, European Union finds itself in a continuous process of evolution and transformation. As a result of the constraints offered by the historical changes and challenges, European Union has to deal with the effects of: the free movement of the work force, the economic and financial crisis, the ageing of the population, and the migration crisis. All these challenges have determined an increasing attention and focus on the social dimension and employment policies at EU and national state level through guidelines, country recommendations, and specific strategies. At the same time, from the perspective of EU treaties these challenges have not been foreseen – it have not been possible as well – but, on the other hand, there are a series of principles and guidelines which, theoretically, should have a positive impact on the European labour markets. In this regard, this article intends to offer more a preview on the evolution of the employment policies within European Union and present the concrete issues and problems EU should address.
- Key concepts: employment, Europe 2020, EU Treaties, work force, labour markets
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.06
7. Olga BRUSYLOVSKA: ENERGY SAFETY OF UKRAINE: RUSSIAN FACTOR
A number of political events in Ukraine at the end of 2013 and early in 2014 led to the frequent use of the term “the Ukrainian crisis”. It had impact not only on Ukraine’s interaction with the EU and the RF, but also in reviewing of the interstate cooperation of the Western countries and their allies with the RF. As a result of sanctions imposition against the RF because of annexation of Crimea, in 2015 the Russian government took the decision to amend the energy strategy for the period until 2035, in order to maintain the strategic development of the Russian energy sector. To that the majority of countries it was explained as a try to conduct the diversification of energy structure, to develop the not-carbohydrate energy sources and to use nonconventional kinds of fuel. The energy resources are used by Russia as one of the tools of conducting hybrid war against Ukraine and the energy infrastructure became an object of foreign conquest. In future, Russia will try to use its monopoly position in relation to the possession and producing of energy resources as to bring pressure upon both, Ukraine and the EU. In long-term Ukraine and the EU have a diversification opportunity in respect of the energy resources through the development of the nuclear energy production, a use of the alternative energy sources, a technological modernization of the energy sector for extraction of slate gas, a rebuilding of the transport and energy infrastructures.
- Keywords: Energy Strategy, Ukraine, the Russian Federation
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.07
8. Ionelia Bianca BOSOANCĂ: ENERGY POLICY IN THE ACTUAL CONTEXT OF FOREIGN POLICY
According to the problems that European Union is facing with, the incidents that marked the European continent and the spreading of the fear among citizens, is related to the identification of the causes of terrorism. European Union attempts to make citizens believe in European values and not be afraid that it will be unable to provide them security. Eurosceptics are now in favor of criticizing strongly the values that the Europe promotes, arguing that this building did not take into account many of the safety’ aspects, economic cooperation and did not create a common identity for Member States. Pro-Europeans argue that the only way to protect citizens, is cooperation between countries. Those perspectives are based on the sustainability of the Energy Union and are reflected on the European policies aimed in energy and environmental security. Based on the fact that researchers are analyzing the reports and the European institutions, we can outline that energy policy and environmental safety can be shaped on three paths of this namely the setback, the stagnation and the progress. In this context where an important role is played by Russia – a geostrategic actor of the scheme of energy supply- the question is how will succeed European Union to pass over these difficulties? Will Russia continue to be the energetic power of the European system or will European Union succeed in resolving the problem of dependency of European states on Russia?
- Keywords: Energy Policy, governance process, actors, European values, cooperation.
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.08
The current study attempts to provide a comprehensive analysis of the European energy policy evolution emphasizing the centrality of energy resources for the entire EU’s integration process. The results reveal that for the last decade EU had a rather reactionary behaviour instead of a proactive energy security strategy. EU’s dependence on natural gas imports has been the main driver of its energy security strategy and the post gas crisis moments represented the periods when the level of energy insecurity prompted higher levels of solidarity between member states, which in turn allowed for major advancements towards the creation of the current Energy Union.
- Keywords: Energy Union, European Energy Policy, Energy security
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.24193/OJMNE.2017.22.09