Ten Years after the Viking Judgment: EU Court of Justice Still in Search of Balance between Market Freedoms and Social Rights
18 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 15, 2017
Ten years after the well-known Viking and Laval judgments, there is still no end to the debate about the appropriateness of the EU Court of Justice (CJ) approach to cases of conflict between the fundamental freedoms of the EU internal market and the fundamental, especially social, rights protected by EU law as well. The CJ does not abandon its pre-Lisbon case law, only the accent seems to change. In its recent decisions however - in particular the AGET Iraklis one from December 2016 - a quite more socially responsive approach can be traced. The following analysis attempts to sum up the path that the CJ has made between the Viking and AGET Iraklis judgments. It wonders whether the CJ has found the optimal solution for clashes between fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights. It shows that this is not yet the case, because even in the AGET Iraklis judgment CJ did not abandon the one-sided test of proportionality, which treats basic social rights and their protection as possible exceptions to the freedoms of movement that could be acceptable only if they are reasonably justified by the protection of overriding reasons in public interest.
Keywords: Court of Justice, Viking, AGET Iraklis, Social Rights, Internal Market Freedoms, Proportionality Test
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