Research Handbook on European Social Security Law
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Research Handbook on European Social Security Law

Edited by Frans Pennings and Gijsbert Vonk

This Handbook encompasses four dimensions of European social security law: social security as a human right, standard setting in social security, the protection of mobile persons and migrants and the global context of European social security law. It pays attention to both EU law and to various instruments of the Council of Europe. In 25 chapters prominent experts analyse contemporary debates, discuss new challenges and point out further lines of research. Through this exploration, the Handbook provides a source of inspiration for the development of this special field of law.
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Chapter 5: The interaction between human rights case law: Convergence or competition?

Ida Elisabeth Koch


The right to social security as a fundamental right or as a human right is protected by several European sets of norms. However, the norms in question differ not only in their geographical range, but also as regards their normative character and strength. Since 1961 the right to social security and social assistancehas been protected primarily by Articles 12 and 13 of the European Social Charter (European Social Charter) and later in 1996 also by the Revised Social Charter ((R)European Social Charter). The European Committee on Social Rights has been assigned to monitoring the implementation of the right to social security and social assistance by means of the general reporting procedure and a collective complaints procedure. In that way the Committee has given substance to the provisions of the Charter(s). In addition, the development of case law from the European Court of Human Rights unveils that in particular Article 8 and Protocol No 1(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) provide some protection of socio-economic demands, which was not envisaged when the Convention entered into force in 1950. Therefore, it is no longer possible to uphold the traditional perception of the ECHR as a Convention entirely for the protection of civil and political rights. Moreover, the Lisbon Treaty with its reference in Article 6(1) to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights entered into force in 2009.

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