The Laval and Viking Cases: Freedom of Services and Establishment v. Industrial Conflict in the European Economic Area and Russia

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Series Details Vol.69
Publication Date 2009
ISBN 978-90-411-2850-8
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Two recent decisions of the European Court of Justice – Laval and Viking Line – have ignited a politically explosive controversy over the role of collective labour actions in the European industrial market. Far from settling a long-standing contentious issue, it appears that the Court has brought opposing interests into sharper conflict, in the process also exacerbating tensions between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Member States. Although the ultimate impact of the two decisions on national labour law regimes is unpredictable, the need for a summing-up of trends so far is clearly advantageous to all concerned parties.

To this end, in this book nineteen labour law scholars present country reports detailing challenges and consequences of the rulings evident in twelve EU Member States, as well as in Norway and Russia. Among many others, the salient issues covered include the following:

- cross-border solidarity among workers
- collective action as a fundamental freedom
- the prospects for an EU minimum wage plan
- the ‘social partners’ approach to national labour law
- the harmonisation of social security standards
- the scope of enforcement by Member State labour regulatory authorities.

The authors recognize that, in the interest of a unified European market, it is of prime concern to create a structured balance between the rights of employers to freely move their business entities and services and the rights of workers and their representative organizations to undertake actions protecting common work interests. The studies in this book allow lawyers, academics and policymakers to evaluate the degree to which this objective has been furthered or constrained by these two landmark cases, and to assess the direction in which national Member State labour law is moving as a result.

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ESO: Background information: First blood to unions in key EU pay case

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