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Home / Resources / News / Their austerity, our democracy

Their austerity, our democracy

Every worker has the right to working conditions which respect his or her health, safety and dignity. Every worker has the right to limitation of maximum working hours, to daily and weekly rest periods and to an annual period of paid leave. Article 31 of the Charter of Fundamental rights

Young people admitted to work must have working conditions appropriate to their age and be protected against economic exploitation and any work likely to harm their safety, health or physical, mental, moral or social development or to interfere with their education.

Article 32 of the Charter of Fundamental rights

Everywhere we work in Europe we always hear the same answers when we ask about the biggest fear for people’s present and future: citizens and especially young people are worried about finding work, and when they have one, about losing it.

They are afraid of being the first generation in at least half a century in Europe to be worse-off than their parents. This is partly due to a hyper-flexible labour market that, while depriving workers of fundamental social rights, puts them in a perennial state of precarious living conditions, known across the continent as precarity and amplified by the crisis since 2007.

Crises are the best opportunities to bring about change. Many voices have risen against austerity measures as unique response to the crisis, from the streets, the academia… but they don’t seem to have reached institutions (yet?).

With the Citizens Manifesto, we aim at gathering demands for a better, fairer and less discriminatory Europe, collecting proposals on issues of immediate concern to citizens and using the strategic opportunity offered to us by the upcoming elections of the European Parliament next May.

The research workshop on welfare in Berlin will focus on guaranteeing fundamental social rights for all in the EU and on opposing the precedence of economic freedoms over them.

On the basis of consultation and web proposals, we will discuss issues related to the right to decent living conditions, including social rights, education, housing, pensions, as well as the idea of basic income across the EU, which, as suggested by the European Parliament, could bring increasing security and welfare in the continent.

Other research workshops will take place in September on areas closely interlinked with welfare, such as employment, finance, migration or women’s rights. In the meantime, have a look at the bibliography we’ve shared with the participants. If you want to share links of policies and publications on the area of welfare that you think we should look at in preparation of the workshop, add them in the comments below!


European Commission:

European Parliament:

European Council:

European Economic and Social Committee:

Trade unions

Academics / NGOs

In the meantime, click on one of the tabs to get involved!