Caring in Austerity Time in the EU post-financial crisis
The importance of accessible, affordable and high quality childcare is acknowledged by the EU but legal development has been ad hoc, slow and lacks coherence. Since the financial crisis, the EU intervention on care issues has remained extremely limited and has been dictated by economic priorities, of which “care” does not seem to feature. As a result, the area of care remains dominated by rhetoric: the targets set are far from being achieved, the disparities between Member States continue to be extremely wide, and women in Europe continue to bear disproportionately the cost of reproduction. Arguably, the EU growth Strategy (Europe 2020), which talks about a “changing world” entrenches a traditional gendered vision of production and reproduction where the former is valued and the latter is not.