The Social Dimension of Globalization: the EU's policy

The process of globalisation has brought significant benefits to many people across the world. Higher quality – and higher earning – jobs have been created in parts of the world which have previously relied largely on agriculture to maintain their people. These positive aspects of globalisation are recognised by the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation1 (WCSDG) published on 24 February 2004. However the report also notes that the benefits of globalisation are not shared equally across all countries and groups and that, without an effective system of global governance, the current model of globalisation is generating unbalanced outcomes and is not likely to lead to global sustainable development. The EU has long pursued policies, both at home and internationally, which seek to ensure that economic and social progress go hand in hand. In particular in Lisbon in 2000, the Heads of State and Government agreed an integrated strategy for reforms which is intended to lead to Europe becoming the most competitive knowledge based society in the world, with more and better jobs and increased social cohesion, by promoting mutually reinforcing policies to address the needs of competitiveness, employment, social progress and environmental sustainability. This strategy is also the basis for the EU's policy response to the impact of globalisation on businesses, jobs and citizens in Europe.