Social Policy: Transforming pensions, challenging health care?
This chapter analyses the Europeanization of German social policy, focusing on the sectors of old-age pensions and health care. It begins by establishing the specific properties of German social policy from a cross-national perspective. This will be done for the mid-1970s, hence prior to any major potential direct or indirect EU effect. Next, the chapter reviews the potential European, global, and domestic pressures on old-age pension arrangements and health care. It contextualizes social policy development to isolate EU integration as a variable from other factors such as demographic change (‘greying’ of the society), individualization, technological change, German unification, and economic and financial globalization, which may point in similar directions. The major part of the discussion reviews the development of German pension and health care policy over the last decades, and analyses the extent to which these developments can be attributed to EU integration.