Erik Longo

The «Human Face» of the European Union: Past and Future of the Social Rights

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Social Rights; CFR; CJEU; European Pillar of Social Rights; Next Generation EU; Social Europe.

The twentieth anniversary of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union provides a timely opportunity to revisit the fundamentalisation of social rights in the European legal system. This article takes this effort by looking at two perspectives, the legal and the socio-economic; on one hand, it argues that in the caselaw of the European Court of Justice the balance between economic and social rights has long been tipped in favour of the economic, leaving the social side a servant of market-based objectives; on the other, it reflects on the dilemma of the austerity measures set out by the European Union after the economic crisis. The criticism against the protection of social rights and the building of Social Europe led to a resurgence of interest in establishing a socially sustainable Union, crystallized in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying initiatives. The article traces the development of the Pillar and illustrates how it could be the first step of the resurgence of Social Europe in the wake of the EU recovery plan aimed at mitigating the effects of the socio-economic crisis from Covid-19.

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