This chapter takes an interest in arrangements made to secure the enforcement of social rights within the areas of health care, education, housing and social assistance and it develops into an analysis of the arguments pro-contra the enforceability of social human rights as a legal strategy to enhance EU citizenship.
While it is a barrier to the fulfilment of a well-functioning EU citizenship not to fully recognize that Europe is a region of welfare states where it is a characteristic of citizenship that the inhabitants, based on a combination of solidarity and reciprocity, are provided with some level of social protection, the lack of common ground, even at a very basic level, has proven to be a challenge to the freedom of movement and thus to the citizenship project as such.
One way forward could be to embrace the normative framework already in existence through the European Social Charter (Council of Europe) and propose, in the spirit of the Turin process, that we work towards a stronger legal recognition of this human rights based platform within the European Union framework. Such a proposal, a proposed legal strategy to enhance EU citizenship, is situated in the midst of two major and topical debates: is legal rights enforcement a path towards increased social justice (social sustainability)? And to what extent are social citizens' rights and social human rights concurring or conflicting norms?
In this chapter we will explore the notions of redress mechanisms, EU citizenship, legal strategies and social rights with the overarching ambition to undertake further legal analysis in the area and make an informed contribution to the dispute.