Eu member states are expected to modernise traditional frameworks for social protection in ways that promote economic growth. If organised in this way, social protection will help to create social capital and an inclusive society open to all.1 this trend is closely linked to the eu ambition to create a harmonious mixture of economic and social policies in order to enhance greater economic flexibility without abandoning the eu's core values of solidarity, social justice and social rights. A common eu strategy has been developed to assist member states in developing this modern approach to social protection. This article explores the possible impact of this eu strategy. It argues that the european ambition to establish a harmonious mixture of economic and social policies has various weaknesses, which may hinder its successful realisation. If not addressed in an appropriate way, the intended harmonious mixture may eventually result in diminished levels of social protection and social rights.