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Austerity and the Implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy in Spain

Re-shaping the European Productive and Social Model: a Reflexion from the South

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Edited By Javier Ramos and Esther del Campo

This book adopts a critical perspective to analyze the Europe-2020 Strategy and its effects on the transformation of the European productive and social model, particularly in Spain. The evidence provided in this book suggests that the Europe-2020 strategy cannot be dissociated from the policies of commodification initiated in the Stability and Growth Pact (Maastricht, 1997) nor from the Austerity measures implemented to deal with the financial crisis in 2007. 

These policies of «commodification» and «austerity» are seriously limiting Europe-2020 capacity to foster a smart, sustainable and inclusive productive transition, while adding greatly to the continuous process of precarization and social exclusion that European societies are suffering, especially in Southern Europe.   

The book presents empirical evidence on these externalities in areas as diverse as EU foreign policy, entrepreneurship or gender equality. But the special emphasis has been placed in those areas that the Europe 2020 strategy considers crucial such as employment, R&D, climate change and energy sustainability, education and fighting against poverty in Spain.

Thanks to the profuse analyses carried out by a group of leading Spanish academics, the book constitutes a benchmark for scholars, practitioners and the general public interested in European and Spanish economic policy issues.

"Essential contributions on the challenges faced by the Spanish economy when it comes to strengthening the Welfare State" (Valeriano Gómez, former Minister of Employment)

"A most useful collection of contributions addressing Spain’s difficulties in dealing with an indebted economy, and in need of re-shaping its strategic productive and social models within the EU" (Luis Moreno, IPP-CSIC).

"This book provides appealing insights into the evolution of the Spanish productive and social protection systems under austerity, as well as an analysis of crucial aspects of the implementation of the EU 2020 Strategy. A must-read for professionals and students interested on European" (Ana Marta Guillén, Dep Sociology- Oviedo University)

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Social Policy in Spain under Austerity. Assessing EU Leverage for Structural Adjustment and Welfare Reform (Sergio González Begega / Eloisa del Pino)

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Social Policy in Spain under Austerity

Assessing EU Leverage for Structural Adjustment and Welfare Reform1

Sergio GONZÁLEZ BEGEGA2 and Eloisa DEL PINO3

1.   Europe as a referential frame. The modernization of the Spanish Welfare State

Europe has been a decisive guiding force behind the modernization of the Spanish Welfare State. The European influence has had a highly recognizable effect over the transformation of social policy in Spain even prior to accession to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1986 (Rodríguez Cabrero, 2011: 18). The continued effort to catch up with European social standards has meant a lot to Spain. Social modernization has brought forth a symbolic value of intimacy and reckoning with a more advanced economic and social area. Overall, Spain have favoured being part of the European Union (EU). Accessing and successfully converging into the EU have been an aspiration both for the Spanish political elites and the public opinion. Becoming an approvable European member has been regarded as an essential condition for social and economic development after decades of political isolation and institutional backwardness (Guillén, 2007: 118).

The development of the Spanish Welfare State in the last decades has to be considered in the light of Europeanization of social policy. In many respects, the trajectory of welfare reform in Spain has much to do with the paradox of the race between Achilles and the tortoise. Spain was ← 279 | 280 → very successful...

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