EU Regulation of Access to Labour Markets. A Case Study of EU Constraints on Member States Competences

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Publication Date 2012
ISBN 978-90-4113823-1
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With a focus on how directly the conditions of access to employment are modified by EU legislation and case law, this important book critically analyses the mandate by which the EU constrains domestic competences to regulate access to labour markets.

The author identifies an ‘EU public-social order approach’ – a set of norms imposed by EU institutions on domestic authorities in the performance of a task with social implications. In the area of access to labour markets, this approach is characterized by the following measures and objectives:

+ prohibition of certain forms of discrimination in access to employment, which enhances the protection of individuals;

+ facilitation of the cross-border allocation of workforce among Member States, which requires domestic decision-makers to give equal chances to all EU citizens; and

+ promotion of the economic competitiveness of domestic labour markets, which affects the rights of third country nationals.

The presentation assesses the effectiveness of this public-social order approach – in particular as revealed in ECJ case law – as a tool to increase economic efficiency, advance distributive justice, and ensure protection of dignity.

By way of detailed example, the author examines reforms of employment contract law and economic migration law in France, and for purposes of comparison illustrates parallel movements in defining the principle of equality as manifested in U.S. law.

Thorough and incisive, this analysis of the constraints imposed by EU law on the exercise by domestic institutions of their competence in regulating labour markets is valuable not only to lawyers and academics in employment law, but also of great interest to jurists and policymakers in the wider field of European law as an accurate overview of the tensions between EU constraints and the tools used by national policy makers.

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