The role of trade unions in European pension reforms: From ‘old’ to ‘new’ politics?

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Series Details Volume 17, Number 4, Pages 315-322
Publication Date December 2011
ISSN 0959-6801
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Trade unions played a substantial role in the ‘old politics’ of expanding pension systems in Europe; they are still active in the ‘new politics’ of pension reforms. Given the electoral impact and political veto points, governments may seek to overcome reform blockage in political decision-making and implementation by seeking social consensus with trade unions and employers.

Various modes of social governance in addition to political interest politics allow trade union influence: institutionalized forms of self-administration of pension insurance, self-regulation via negotiated occupational pensions, institutional consultation of interest groups and tripartite concertation (or social pacts) between government and the social partners.

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