The study 'The Social Dimension of the EU' was conducted on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. It aimed at identifying thematic key areas for potential benchmarking processes in the social field during the next potential upward policy convergence. Pros and cons of the benchmarking process, its benchmarks and corresponding social indicators are discussed, exemplified by the minimum income benefits, and further analysis suggested to supplement the exercise. The study showed that benchmarking in the social dimension has its pitfalls when focussing on purely quantitative target setting. Thus, benchlearning processes are suggested, in which analysing the causes and frameworks for the societal challenges, learning from others and action taking stands in the forefront.