Laval and Viking: The Right to Collective Action Versus EU Fundamental Freedoms
(2008) 8 Human Rights Law Review 714-729
16 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2013
Date Written: 2008
Two of the most remarkable human rights cases decided by the European Court of Justice (ECJ or Court) in the past year concern the right to collective action. Both Laval and Viking involved conflicts between trade union action, forming part of the right to freedom of association, a right protected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the exercise of two of the fundamental freedoms set out in the EC Treaty, namely the right to provide services and the right to establishment. Although the Court adopted the same general reasoning in both cases in order to deal with the conflict at issue, each case had individual features worthy of note and will be presented separately (Sections 2 and 3). Section 4 provides reflections that are common to both decisions and their significance for the protection of fundamental rights in the European Union.
Keywords: EU Law, Viking, Laval, Right to Collective Action, Right to Strike, Freedom of Association, Free Movement, Fundamental Freedoms, EC Treaty, Freedom to Provide Services, Freedom of Establishment, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, Rights and Principles Distinction, Horizontal Effect
JEL Classification: K30, K33, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation