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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


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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Introduction (Javier Ramos)


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Javier RAMOS

Defending the EU in its current form is a bitter task. The course of globalisation, with the centre of economic gravity moving from Western to emerging economies from the East and South, the weak international role played by the EU in international conflicts from the Balkan War (1990) to the Syrian refugee crisis (2015), plus the socio-economic consequences of the credit crunch in 2008, are seriously challenging the European Integration Process (EIP).

While millions of Europeans watch in shock as their wages, education, health, and pension systems deteriorate, especially in indebted southern European economies, European institutions and governments are generously spending trillions of euros bailing out banks at taxpayer expense. It is not surprising that for an increasing number of Europeans, the EU is becoming nothing more than a ploy by bankers to use European institutions for their own interests.

This is the worst possible scenario for Europhiles, and confirmation that there is still a long way to go to reach the “promised land” of a federal, innovative and social union of free and equal citizens that inspires the European dream. It is also confirmation that the real underlying debate in the EU today is not the Grexit, the Brexit, or the European Constitution, but rather, the future of democracy under capitalism.

There is no definitive reason to believe that capitalism and democracy must necessarily co-exist. Capitalism has flourished without democracy for very...

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