A Swedish Perspective on Laval
22 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2008
Date Written: July, 25 2008
In the Laval case (C-341/05) the Court of Justice of the European Communities made clear that the right to collective action is a general principle of Community law, but the actions taken by the Swedish trade unions were nevertheless disapproved. A provider of services from another EU country could not be required to set aside time and effort in order to conclude a collective agreement in another host state. It amounted to a restriction of the fundamental freedom to provide service as laid down in Article 49 of the Treaty. The Court found that the Directive is a maximum directive in the light of the core provisions found in Article 3 of the Directive. The Court disapproved of the national Swedish provisions aimed at combating social dumping. The Court has partly changed a national labor market model like the Swedish one. The Court adopted a libertarian approach in both the interpretation of Article 49 and the Directive 96/71 on posting of workers in the framework of provision of services. The Court did not attach importance to the diversity principle in Article 136 of the Treaty; neither did it pay full attention to other international instruments stipulating a right to take collective action. Rights and obligations from such public international law obligations according to Article 307 of the Treaty were not at all discussed by the Court.
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