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A Decade Beyond Maastricht: The European Social Dialogue Revisited

Edited by Marc De Vos


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Since Maastricht, there has been a concerted effort at the EU level to forge a fair and mutually responsible legal relationship between labour and management. What is sought is a legal framework for labour relations that will protect¿and even nourish¿the most important employment interests of all Europeans. It is now clear, with more than a decade¿s perspective, that many unforeseen obstacles and pitfalls¿both legal and practical¿have slowed the progress of this social dialogue. The European Social Dialogue Revisited focuses on what has gone wrong, what has gone right, and what initiatives should be taken to ensure a positive continuation of the trend toward greater social justice.

The eight outstanding authors who have collaborated in this endeavour represent the highest levels of interaction among scholars, social partners, and EU institutions involved in the European Social Dialogue. This book is the final product of their Brussels conference in October 2002, organised by the Social Law Department of Ghent University. Their deeply informed contributions respond to such probing questions as the following:

  • Does the much-talked-of European social model really exist?
  • Are effective collective agreements feasible under the current EC Treaty?
  • Is the conclusion of collective agreements negotiation or legislation?
  • Can a viable compromise be achieved between the often contradictory aims of competition law and social policy?

    The discussions include incisive analyses of relevant law and legal theory¿pertinent EC Treaty provisions and directives, decisions of the Community¿s courts, existing and potential collective agreements¿as well as declarations of the social partners and from Community institutions. The text of the work programme drawn up by ETUC, UNICE, and CEEP in November 2002 is reproduced in full.

    For all the contention it arouses, the European Social Dialogue has in fact achieved some real change in social policy and holds great promise for the future. This important book serves as a milestone that allows all concerned practitioners, academics, and policy makers to measure what we have accomplished and to identify the elements we must concentrate upon to ensure continuing progress.

  • Pages 128
    Last Updated 10/30/2003
    Update Frequency As Needed
    Product Line Kluwer Law International
    ISBN 9789041121639
    SKU 10058985-0001
    Table of Contents
    The Authors Part One The Legal Framework Chapter One Some Reflections on the Origin, Problems and Perspectives of the European Social Dialogue Filip Dorssemont Section I. Social Partners and Community Law, A Twofold Relationship Section II. On the Origins of Collective Bargaining at Community Level: A Source of Conceptual and Legal Problems? Section III. Conceptual and Legal Problems Section IV. Perspectives Chapter Two Self-Executing Collective Agreements in EC Law Olaf Deinert Section I. Is the Conclusion of Agreements Negotiation of Contracts or Legislation? Section II. Equivalence of the Ways of Implementation of Social Dialogue Agreements Section III. Corporatist and Autonomous Collective Agreements Systems Section IV. The Freedom to Bargain Collectively – A Fundamental Right in Community Law Section V. Parallel Status of Effect Section VI. Effects of an ECA Following the Theory of Parallel Status of Effect Section VII. No Objections According to Article 139Section 2 TEC Section VIII. Consequences for the Function of Article 139TEC Conclusion and Evaluation Chapter Three Collective Labour Agreements and European Competition Law: An Inherent Contradiction? Marc De Vos Section I. The Ideological or Economic Background Section II. Labour, Free Market, and Free Competition: One Sphere? Section III. The Surprising Labour Exemption: Albany and Its Progeny Section IV. Possible Future Developments Conclusion Part Two Management and Labour Chapter Four Social Dialogue – an ETUC Perspective Penny Clarke Chapter Five European Social Dialogue in Action: A Perspective from the UNICE Wilfried Beirnaert Part Three Community Institutions Chapter Six Challenges and Prospects for the European Social Dialogue Miche`le T hozet Chapter Seven Social Dialogue, a Cornerstone of our European Social Model Joe Bertrand and MEP Anne Van Lancker