Free Movement, Equal Treatment and Workers' Rights: Can the European Union Solve its Trilemma of Fundamental Principles?

19 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2009

See all articles by Jon Erik Dølvik

Jon Erik Dølvik

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jelle Visser

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS)

Abstract

This article analyses the trilemma the EU is facing concerning three fundamental principles on which the Community rests: free movement of services and labour; non-discrimination and equal treatment, and the rights of association and industrial action. With rising cross-border flows of services and (posted) labour after the Eastward enlargement, the conflict between these rights has triggered industrial disputes and judicial strife. In the view of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), highlighted in the Laval Quartet, some principles are more fundamental than others. Tracing the ‘dual track’ along which European integration has evolved, whereby supranational market integration has been combined with national semi-sovereignty in industrial relations and social policies, our claim is that the supremacy of free movement over basic social rights implied by the ECJ judgments is leading Europe in a politically and socially unsustainable direction. To prevent erosion of the European Social Models and of popular support for European integration, the politicians have to reinsert themselves into the governance of the European project. A pertinent start would be to ensure that the rising mass of cross-border service workers in Europe become subject to the same rights and standards as their fellow workers in the emerging pan-European labour market.

Suggested Citation

Dølvik, Jon Erik and Visser, Jelle, Free Movement, Equal Treatment and Workers' Rights: Can the European Union Solve its Trilemma of Fundamental Principles?. Industrial Relations Journal, Vol. 40, Issue 6, pp. 491-509, November 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1508105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2338.2009.00542.x

Jon Erik Dølvik (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Jelle Visser

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) ( email )

PLantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
Netherlands
+31 (0)20 525 4199 (Phone)
+31 (0)20 525 4301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva-aias.net/staff.asp?id=35&lang=ne

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
2
Abstract Views
542
PlumX Metrics