The current economic and financial crisis calls into question
a number of assumptions which have underpinned the member states'
economic policies over the last decades, such as deregulation, the
primacy of economic criteria in all areas of life and overemphasis
on profit and growth. The current crisis is to a large extent a
crisis of trust towards the financial and political institutions
and towards the global system, which provoked it.
The crisis is understood as a call for change, to translate
the Council of Europe’s values more strongly into economic as well
as social policies. Thus, the report contains an array of policy
recommendations to ensure linkages between social progress and economic
The report also shows that member states with an elaborate
social and health protection system are also economically significantly
better placed in meeting the challenges of the current crisis. Countries
that have strong and efficiently-run social and health protection
systems have valuable inbuilt mechanisms to stabilise their economies
and address the social impact of the crisis. For other countries,
the priority is to meet urgent needs, while building the foundation
for stronger and more effective systems.
Finally, the rapporteur underlines the importance of strengthening
dialogue between the various international organisations, in particular
with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Health
Organisation (WHO). It encourages greater involvement of the social
partners so as to enable the Council of Europe to raise its political
profile and play a more prominent role in the area of social rights.