The evolution of the European integration process and the foundation of the Union, invite us to consider the National welfare systems in a wider outlook: the European Social Model (ESM). Integration process and EU foundation are both essential components to the ESM and they receive constant impulse towards the adoption of modern practices and rules. Without reference to the European framework we run the risk to simplify the understanding of both specific features of the national welfare models and of the contribution given by the religious traditions to their development. It is at the European level that the Churches and the religious Congregations have been able to introduce several central elements in the new social policy guidelines valid for the all national systems. An analysis and assessment of the influence brought by the Churches to the E.U. becomes a key factor in a scientific analytical study. Chapter aims to discuss: a) approaches to the "Social Question" assumed by the European authorities; b) the social system as defined by the Lisbon Treaty (2007); c) a shared definition of the "European Social Model"; d) the influence of Religious Congregations to defining the E.U. principles; e) the support of the Churches towards a sustainable social and economic development.
Keywords: European Social Model, European Union, Churches, Religious Congregations, Welfare.