Anastasia Poulou, 28, received one of the nine awards issued by the German Korber Foundation for her doctoral dissertation on the theme of “Who is responsible for the shrinking of social services in Europe”. During a special ceremony that took place at the German parliament, Tuesday, Anastasia, who hails from Thessaloniki, was one those who was handed one of the three first awards for scientists from all around the globe on issues that had a global impact on societies. This year’s distinctions concerned matters related to the legal aspects of energy transition, research for touch screens allowing blind people to surf the internet, and Poulou’s dissertation, the youngest of all participants, entitled “The protection of social rights in times of crises”, which had been submitted to the Heidelberg University. In her thesis, Anastasia, who is a scientific aide at the “Max Planck Institute” in Berlin, wanted to examine whether social rights, as guaranteed under the EU’s Human Right Charter, in four countries affected by the economic crisis -Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus-had been violated. The researcher explored the terms and conditions of financial assistance, as stipulated in the agreed MoUs between the countries’ government and EU institutions, as well as the domestic laws used to implement the agreements. The social scientist concluded in her thesis that the responsibility for the violation of these rights were be distributed almost equally between the EU institutions, on the one hand in the cases of cuts in labor rights and the right to free negotiation. On the other hand, the responsibility fell on the national legislatures regarding cuts in healthcare and pensions.