Since 1945, socially moderated market economies have formed the cornerstone of the European socioeconomic model. Now, however due to powerful global economic, political and demographic tendencies tensions between social and economic interests and values are increasing. These developments create an urgent need for answers, actions and measures on the European level.
This wide-ranging but focused collection of essays approaches this important trend from multiple perspectives. Compiled in honour of the major European labour law scholar Teun Jaspers, it encompasses a broad spectrum of analyses and insights by forty-one distinguished contributors from seven countries. Four major tensions are identified: between the European and national level, between fundamental rights and economic freedoms, between workers and employers, and between soft and hard law instruments. Throughout, a comparative approach is emphasized, not only within the EU but also between the EU and China and South Africa. Among the many topics covered are the following:
- relocation of labour to low-wage countries both within and outside the EU;
- conditions for tempering the excesses of the free labour market;
- the legal weight of voluntary standards such as codes of conduct;
- extending the scope of application of corporate social responsibility norms to transnational enterprises;
- pressure on national social law due to flexibilization, deregulation and individualization;
- contract termination protection;
- employability and training of employees;
- fixed-term work in the wake of the Mangold ruling;
- adjustment of working conditions for ill and disabled workers;
- right to strike; and
- restructuring of enterprises.
In light of the Lisbon strategy, the authors address how the various tensions should be reconciled, especially in the context of the flexicurity approach.
The book will be of great interest to academics and practitioners for its clear categorization of the issues which must be overcome when regulating employment and social policy in the context of today’s EU multilevel legal order. It pays detailed attention to the legal questions raised by emerging European labour and employment policies in respect of their specific materialization, the opportunities they offer, their feasibility, and the threats they pose to traditional worker’s protection and, more generally, to traditional concepts of labour law.