European Welfare State Constitutions after the Financial Crisis

ISBN : 9780198851776

Ulrich Becker; Anastasia Poulou
400 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Nov 2020
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Hit by the European financial and economic crisis in 2008, several Member States of the European Monetary Union (EMU) were unable to refinance their public debt through the financial markets. As a result, they asked for financial assistance from international institutions and European financial assistance mechanisms. That assistance often came at a high price for citizens, cuts in pensions and social assistance, and controversial reforms in public healthcare. These far-reaching reforms were, in many cases, experienced as violations of people's human rights. National constitutional courts, the Court of Justice of the EU, and the European Court of Human Rights issued a series of rulings on the conformity of the reforms in social protection initiated during the Eurozone crisis. This book offers a holistic analysis of the specific reforms in social protection introduced during the European financial crisis and their implications for constitutional law. Focusing on the social reforms of nine European countries that were greatly affected by the financial crisis, the volume seeks to address the legacy of the financial crisis on the application of constitutional law and the welfare state. The book will act as a helpful tool to legal academics interested in the challenges of constitutional and social law initiated by financial assistance conditionality, to advocates in quest of sound legal bases for the protection of individuals affected by social security reforms, and to national and international judges who are confronted with cases that question the legality and legitimacy of the crisis-related reforms.


1 Ulrich Becker: Introduction
2 Anastasia Poulou: Human Rights Obligations of European Financial Assistance Mechanisms under EU and International Law
3 Jozsef Hajdu: The Transition from Welfare to Workfare in Times of Crisis: A Double-Based Reform of the Hungarian Welfare State
4 Kristine Dupate: The Latvian Response to its First Economic Crisis under a Free Market Economy
5 Elena-Luminita Dima: Upholding the Welfare State During the Financial Crisis: The Pivotal Role of the Constitutional Court of Romania
6 Maria Bakavou: Salus Rei Publicae Suprema Lex Esto? Welfare State Reforms Before the Greek Courts
7 Elaine Dewhurst: The Financial Crisis as a Turning Point for Constitutional Rights Jurisprudence: An Assessment of the Absence of Social Rights Protection in the Irish Constitution
8 Jose Carlos Vieira de Andrade, Suzana Tavares da Silva, Joao Carlos Loureiro: Legal Changes and Constitutional Adjudication in Portuguese Social Law in Consequence of the European Financial Crisis
9 Constantinos Kombos and Athena Herodotou: A 'Bail-In' of Social Rights? The Cypriot Experience of the Financial Crisis
10 Andrea Pin and Matteo De Nes: The Outcome of the Financial Crisis in Italy: A Sea-Change for the Doctrine of Social Rights
11 Juan Antonio Maldonado Molina and Juan Romero Coronado: The Predominance of a 'Strong' Economic over a 'Weak' Social Constitution: The Legacy of the Financial Crisis in Spain
12 Ulrich Becker: Conclusions from a Comparative Perspective

About the author: 

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Becker was appointed Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and Director of the Max Planck Institute for International and Foreign Social Law in 2002. The latter underwent enlargement in 2011 and has, since then, been known as the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy. Ulrich Becker is also an honorary professor at the Faculty of Law at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He received his Doctorate in Law in 1989, his Venia Legendi in 1994 from the University of Wurzburg, and his LL.M. in Comparative European and International Law Studies from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy in 1991. From 1996 to 2002, he had held the Chair of Public Law, German and European Social Law at the University of Regensburg.; Dr. Anastasia Poulou is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich. Prior to this, she was a Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. She conducted her undergraduate studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and at the Free University of Berlin, graduating with honours in 2011. She earned her Master's degree in International Human Rights Law from University of Oxford (with distinction) and her PhD in Law from the University of Heidelberg in 2015. Her PhD dissertation, titled 'Financial assistance conditionality and social rights: revisiting social rights protection in the EU in times of crisis', received the second prize in the humanities category of the German Thesis Award 2016.

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