For several years, EuroMed Rights has acknowledged the importance of dealing with economic and social rights in EU-Mediterranean relations, as they shape people’s everyday economic and social life and given that societies in both Europe and the South are largely governed by similar neo-liberal policies and austerity measures.
The centrality of the issue was confirmed by the uprisings in the Arab region that were sparked, first and foremost, by socio-economic factors. Today, economic and social discontent remains at the forefront of social movements and protests sweeping across the region. Particularly hit by this wave of protests are the Southern European countries, subjects to European and international institutions requests for austerity measures.
The framework for economic relations in the EuroMed region, with the support of international institutions such as the IMF, do not only pose challenges in terms of continued or deepening economic inequalities between the EU and the South Mediterranean region, but also to the participation of citizens on both shores of the Mediterranean when it comes to the development of their societies as well as the promotion and protection of their economic and social rights.