In the present context, defined by a variety of social changes, social advancement is a key point that needs to be sheltered and ensured both in Romania as well as at the level of the European Union, in order to have a coherent European space, to reach and maintain a high level of social and economic welfare. The improvement of the social domain can be triggered by using the principles of the European Social Model, which incorporates values and institutions specially established to protect the integrity of people who are socially disadvantaged. Thus, the paper aims, on one hand, to analyze literature review aspects of the European Social Model as being a social development one and to identify the criteria according to which progress is established in relationship with this model. On the other hand, another goal of the paper is to make a comparative analysis between Romania's performance in the context of Central and Eastern European countries' situation. The purpose of the analysis is to diagnose the progress recorded and the social area in which it took place, as well as the differences between countries. The focus of the analysis will be placed on poverty and social exclusion, as dimensions of the European Social Model. The methodology that will help in undertaking the research comprises two elements: literature review and document analysis. The literature review component involves pinpointing information obtained from scientific articles about the European Social Model and aspects associated with it, available in online databases. The second part of the methodology refers to document analysis, which supposes the assessment of reports issued by organizations that provide such statistical data (Eurostat, World Bank, Social Progress Imperative).
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