The economic crisis which started in the financial sector has in recent years affected all parts of society. There has been a growing unemployment and especially the youth unemployment has exploded. Particularly in the South of Europe, the increase of the crisis and unemployment are overwhelming.
Following the crisis, the national budgets have been under pressure and public spending has been cut. The crisis and the austerity measures imposed could very well have lead to a growing inequality. The Parliamentary Assembly should investigate if this is the case and find out if there is a relationship between the crisis and the development in equality.
Taken into mind that equality is one of the fundamental values of this Assembly and that a Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination has been set up to focus on this, it is important to investigate the consequences of the crisis in this field. We need to examine how the crisis has affected equality and the core values of the Council of Europe in regard to gender, ethnic and religious minorities, equal access as well as in respect to poverty and distribution of wealth.