Crisis and social rights in Europe : retrogressive measures versus protection mechanisms
Garcia Pedraza, Paula
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The austerity measures that are being adopted to counteract the current economic and financial crisis are challenging the enjoyment and the protection of economic and social rights. In Europe, as in other countries of the world, these measures have become a primary choice for reducing the deficit and the public debt. Nonetheless, this choice has not been exempt from controversy. As a matter of fact, this option has been strongly criticised due to the impact that it is having on the enjoyment of acquired economic and social rights. In fact, all the governments’ that have implemented austerity measures in Europe have been defeated through democratic elections. Moreover, social protest against this policy has risen and spread to different countries. Ireland and Spain are two of the five countries most affected by austerity. For this reason, they have been selected as case studies to determine whether austerity is having a retrogressive impact on economic and social rights and whether or not it is necessary to reinforce protection mechanisms.