The chapter contributes to the analysis of the process of human rights and social cohesion erosion set in motion by austerity programmes in the Eurozone and to enquire about how this experience influences the current debate on the Eurozone governance reform in the context of COVID-19 crisis. The orthodox neoliberal adjustment policies imposed on several EU countries between 2010 and 2017 exacerbated economic recession, increased inequality and generated an extensive violation of human rights leading to far-reaching political radicalization. This experience has influenced the current debate on Eurozone reform functioning as a negative mirror of ineffective solutions and citizens’ distrust risks, which might contribute to the emergence of new and more adequate solutions. The main argument put forward if that a pragmatic governance reform of the Eurozone likely to be facilitated by a change in Germany’s position, is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to respond effectively to COVID-19 crisis insofar the EU has also to enhance the priority to human rights protection in order to regain citizens’ confidence and interrupt the trend of rising political influence of anti-EU radical parties which constitute one the most significant risks for the EU in the current crisis context.
- Human rights
- Austerity policies
- Eurozone governance
- Political economy
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
IMF (2016, Table 1, p. 37).
IMF (2016, Table 1, p. 37).
OECD (2016, ibidem, pp. 87–89).
See IEO (2016, pp. 33).
CRPD (2016, p. 3, para. 19).
Human Rights Council (2017, paras 11–16, pp. 4–5).
For a contrasting case, see the Latvian Constitutional Court which declared that a law introducing cuts in pensions should be considered invalid as it violated the right to social security foreseen in the ICESR—see Latvian Constitutional Court, 21 December 2009, case no.2009-43-01.
For example in relation to Portugal the case ECHR, 8 October 2013, da Conceição Mateus v. Portugal and Santos and Januario v. Portugal. Regarding Greece the case ECHR, 7 May 2013, Koufaki v. Greece and ADEDY v. Greece.
BBC (2019), Europe and right-wing nationalism: A country by country guide, BBC 13 November 2019.
Busch, B. and Matthes, J. (2019), A Eurozone Budget—For which purposes exactly? in Forum, Summer vol 17, 11/2019. DICE Report II/2019, Summer vol. 17, pp. 23–27.
Caetano, José and Caleiro, António Bento (2020), Have the recent dynamics of economic globalization biased social justice in the European Union? in Yilmaz Bayar (ed.) Handbook of Research on Social and Economic Development in the European Union, IGI Global.
Caudal, Nicolas et al. (2013), A budget for the Euro Area, Trésor Economics nº 120, October 2013.
Causa, Orsetta, de Serres, Alain and Ruiz, Nicolas (2014), Can growth-enhancing policies lift all boats? An analysis based on household disposable incomes, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, OECD Publishing, Paris.
CESCR Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (2014), Concluding Observations on the fourth periodic report on Portugal (E/C.12/PRT/CO/4).
CESCR Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (2015a), Concluding Observations on the second periodic report on Greece (E/C.12/GRC/CO/2).
CESCR Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (2015b), Concluding Observations on the third periodic report on Ireland (E/C.12/IRL/CO/3).
CESCR Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (2016), Concluding Observations on the sixth periodic report on Cyprus (E/C.12/CYP/CO/6).
Cisotta, R. and Daniel Gallo, D. (2014), The Portuguese Constitutional Court Case Law on Austerity Measures: A Reappraisal, LUISS Academy, Working Paper, 4/2014.
Colasanti, Fabio (2016), Financial assistance to Greece: Three Programmes, European Policy Centre, Discussion Paper, February 2016.
Cornia, G. Andrea, Stewart, Frances and Jolly, Richard (eds.) (1987), Adjustment with a Human Face, vol 1 Protecting the vulnerable and promoting growth, Clarendon Press.
Council of Europe (2017), GRETA Report concerning the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings by Portugal—Second evaluation round.
CRPD Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2016), Concluding Observations on the initial Report on Portugal CRPD/C/PRT/CO/1, 20 May 2016.
Durach, Flavia (2015), The transformation of Euroscepticism: A cross country analysis of Eurobarameter results 2007–2014 in Bargaoanu,Alina et al. (eds.) United by or against Euroscepticism? An assessment of public attitude towards Europe in the context of crisis, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 16–40.
Eisl, A. and Tomay, Mattia (2020), European Debt Mutualisation: Finding a legitimate balance between solidarity and responsability mechanisms, Policy Paper nº 255, July 2020, Notre Europe, Jacques Delors Institute.
EU Commission (2013), The distribution of wealth between households, Research note 11/2013, December 2013.
Eurostat (2020), Gini Coefficient, EU-SILC survey, 30 July 2020.
Ghailani, Dalila (2016), Violations of fundamental rights: Collateral damage of the Eurozone crisis? (1) OSE Research Paper No.32—December 20, European Social Observatory.
Human Rights Council (2017), Report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a componente of the right to an adequate standard of living and on the right to non-discrimination in this context, 28 February 2017.
Hunt, Diana (1987), Economic Theories of Development: An analysis of comparative paradigms, Prentice Hall / Harvester Wheatsheaf.
IEO (2016), The IMF and the crises in Greece, Ireland and Portugal: An evaluation by the Independent Evaluation Office, July 2016.
IMF (2016), Completes Ninth Review of Cyprus’ EFF, January 11 2016.
Killick, Tony (1993) The Adaptive Economy—Adjustment Policies in Small, Low-income countries, EDI Development Studies, The World Bank, Washington.
Koukiadaki, Aristea (2014), Can the austerity measures be challenged in supranational Courts—The cases of Greece and Portugal, ETUC University of Manchester.
Kundnani, Hans and Parello-Plesner, J. (2012), Germany and China: Why the emerging special relationship matters for Europe, ECFR Policy Brief 55, May 2012.
Labrianidis, Lois and Pratsinakis, Manolis, (2014) Outward migration from Greece during the crisis, Research Report, London School of Economic’s Hellenic Observatory.
Mavrodi, G., Moutselos, M. (2017), Immobility in Times of Crisis? The case of Greece in Laffleur and Stanek (eds.) South-North Migration of EU citizens in Times of Crisis, IMISCOE pp. 33–48, Research Series, Springer.
Mushovel, Fabian (2020), Fiscal consolidation and inequality in the distributive effect of fiscal reforms in Greece and Portugal in Campos, Nauro, Paul de Grauwe and Yumei, Ji Structural reforms and economic Growth in Europe, Cambridge University Press.
Neves, T.S. and Ferraz, C. (2020), When shock is not shocking: Psychodynamics underlying the acceptance of austerity in Psychoanalysis, culture and society (in publication).
Observatório da Emigraçao (2019), Emigraçao Portuguesa Relatório Estatistico 2019, Lisboa.
OECD (2016a), Labour Market reforms in Portugal 2011–2015: A preliminary assessment.
OECD (2017), Economic Survey Portugal, February 2017.
OECD (2018), Economic Surveys Greece, April 2018.
Pisany-Ferry, Jean (2018), Euro-area reform: An anatomy of the debate, Policy Insight nº 95, October 2018, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
Editors and Affiliations
Rights and permissions
© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Neves, M.S. (2021). Austerity, Human Rights Erosion and Political Radicalization: Implications for Eurozone Governance Reform. In: Caetano, J., Vieira, I., Caleiro, A. (eds) New Challenges for the Eurozone Governance. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-62372-2_13
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-62371-5
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-62372-2
eBook Packages: Economics and FinanceEconomics and Finance (R0)