Hence, the social provisions inscribed in the
Hence, this pivotal judgment acknowledged the co-existence of the social objectives alongside the economic ones, there being a shift of focus in the scope of the Treaty, further laying the foundations of a full-fledged and extensively applied European Community corpus of gender anti-discrimination law. Needless to say, the decision was highly contentious for the newly-minted European Economic Community was inherently dedicated to the fulfilment of economic yardsticks and mitigation and prevention of armed conflicts. It was also posited that the social provisions inscribed in the Treaty were relatively quixotic and lacked feasibility in implementation, ergo, failing to generate specific legal rights. Inasmuch as, ‘the Court’s interpretation of Article 119 as being capable of giving individually enforceable rights has been central to its subsequent jurisprudence on sex equality and has also served as an important foundation for the establishment of a European social dimension to the law-making capacity of the EC institutions’1.
Consequently, what conferred so much importance on the Defrenne II (43/75) is its reference to the dual aim of the insertion of the Article 119 within the Treaty of Rome. As previously described in the context of the emergence of the Article ? with France as a driver of the proposal ? the primordial purpose of the article was to safeguard the economic aims of the Community against disloyal competition. However, apart from the economic justification, there was also a social twist to it, for the introduction of an equal pay provision in the Treaty was in line with the social objectives upheld by the Community in order to ensure social progress and constant improvement of the living and working conditions of its citizens2. 1 Smith, Rhona K. M., et al. “Social Policy: Case 43/75 Defrenne v Societe Anonyme Belge De Navigation Aerienne (SABENA).” Conversion Course Companion for Law: Core Legal Principles and Cases for CPE/GDL, Longman, 2008, pp.
154.2 Vermeersch, Jacintha. “The Gender Pay Gap: a Comparative Study of Law/ The Gender Pay Gap in the EU: All Roads Lead Back to Brussels .” Universiteit Gent. Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, 2015.
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