On 1 December 2009 the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force. Although often described as primarily technical, it significantly amended the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and the old EC Treaty (now the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, TFEU). The authors' aim in this book is to explore what the Treaty means for social law and social policy at the European level. The first part of the book on the general framework looks - at a time of financial crisis - for new foundations for Europe's Social market economy, questions the balance between fundamental social rights and economic freedoms, analyses the role of the now binding Charter of Fundamental Rights, maps the potential impact of the horizontal clauses on social policy and addresses the possibilities for social partners to enlarge their role in labour law and industrial relations. The second part, on the social framework of the Treaty, focuses on the development of the Union's competences. In it the authors evaluate the consequences of the new general framework on social competences, analyse the evolution of the principle of subsidiarity and its impact in the new Treaty, look at the coordination of economic policies in the light of fundamental rights, and analyse the adoption in the Treaty of a new architecture for services of general interest.