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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


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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The Spanish Half-hearted Pursuit of Europe 2020’s Poverty Target (Ana Arriba González de Durana / Vicente Marbán Gallego / Francisco Javier Moreno Fuentes / Gregorio Rodríguez Cabrero)


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The Spanish Half-hearted Pursuit of Europe 2020’s Poverty Target


The introduction of the fight against poverty and social exclusion as one of the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy was hailed as a major change since, for the first time, it included the social dimension, together with the economy, in the process of European governance. In addition to this change of status, the instruments for the governance of European social policy (Social OMC) that had been developed within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy were significantly transformed. These changes occurred while a new framework for European social policy, guided by the objectives of financial sustainability (health and pensions), social investment, active inclusion (combating poverty, investment in children, care and dependency or active), and active aging, were taking shape.

This chapter focuses on the path followed by Spain between 2010-2015 to achieve the objective of reducing poverty and social exclusion within the framework of the Europe 2020 Strategy.5 We will focus on the transformations of policies (outputs) in their interpretive frameworks, as well as in their content and resources. Particular attention will be paid to the impact (outcomes) that this strategy is having on situations of poverty and social exclusion among the Spanish population, since there is already significant evidence (both in Spain, and in Europe as a whole) about the low...

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