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Creating Social Europe XVI The European creation of a single labour market.

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Presentation on theme: "Creating Social Europe XVI The European creation of a single labour market."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creating Social Europe XVI The European creation of a single labour market

2 Introduction: first of three lectures on EU ECSC becomes EEC: Treaty of Rome 1957 –Creation of single market (no trade barriers) –Economic expansion will fund welfare –Member states responsible for social policy Except: Equal pay and paid holiday rights (gender) European Social Fund CAP Migrant labour: benefit rights Health & safety at work

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4 EEC Institutions & Powers Issue of sovereignty paramount –European Commission (EC) formulates proposals –Council of Ministers ratifies (on basis of unanimity) –European Parliament discusses, offers amendments (‘democratic deficit’) Regulations set minimal standards


6 Labour market regulation: competing traditions Romano-German tradition (dominant) –Citizens’ rights embedded in constitutional law –Employment rights legally ratified Voluntarist labour relations –Collective agreements retain voluntary status UK / Eire & Denmark in latter group Means that ‘deregulation’ (1980s) effectively translates into re-regulation for most states

7 UK application to EEC


9 Gender Equality: main objective of 1970s Equal pay principle extended beyond work in same establishment. Directives: –1975: equal pay for work of equal value –1979: extended to statutory schemes of social security –1986: extended to occupational welfare 1972 Paris: Internal Market Programme –1974: early worker consultation on dismissals –1975: mergers & bankruptcy - workers’ rights ratified Harmony of working conditions prevents distortion of competition

10 The role of the ‘social partners’ Pre-1985: limited advisory role for joint consultative bodies (ETUC founded 1973) Post-1985: Delors and Social Dialogue 1986 Single European Act – 1987 birth EU –Social dialogue to impose joint min. standards –Social Charter of workers’ rights (Maastricht) –UNICE (EU employers organisation) formed

11 Towards Maastricht 1989: Strasbourg endorses Social Chapter –‘democracy and individual right: free collective bargaining: market economy: equal opportunity: social welfare and solidarity’ –1989-90 Inter-state conference on EMU 1990-91: Maastricht Treaty negotiated –Delors passes social action programme to social partners –Qualified majority voting introduced –EC to consult social partners on social policy issues –Social partners can initiate agreement as basis for EU law




15 Extension of EU welfare competences Dual agreement the preferred route to new welfare initiatives –Equation of working conditions / health and safety for a-typical workers (1997 & 1991) –Protection of pregnant workers (1991) –Creation of European Works Councils (1994) –Working time directive (1993) –Parental leave directive (1997) –Part-time work directive (1997)

16 Problems Slow progress: unemployment rising in 1990s and employers reluctant to sign UK opt-out of Social Chapter (Maastricht) –Weaker economies do not want expensive reforms: UK cheap for inward investment –[1997 Blair adopts social chapter] 1996-7 Scandal in EC weakens its powers to innovate policy


18 From Rules to Rights Human rights agendas adopted by EU ‘democratic acquis’: anti-xenophobia –2000: Race Discrimination Directive –Equal Treatment in Employment Directive ECJ: encouragement to interpret equality as elimination of disadvantage 2007 European Fundamental Rights Agency

19 Conclusions: a federal Europe? Tension between –Social partners as initiators of social policy –State sovereignty over welfare provision 1999 (Lisbon) and 2000 (Nice) –EU restructured as federation of member states (not potential super-state) –This strengthened by enlargement

20 Conclusions: problems of efficiency Enforcement of directives left to national collective bargaining (or fighting case law via ECJ) Member-states can be fined for failing to implement directives Result: implementation notoriously variable (Italy as e.g. of neo-voluntarism) Open question whether EU should promote social policy reform. Post-2000: change of tack towards labour market activation as focus for EU policy

21 Conclusions: new common issues Global warming Global financial crises (recent bank crash) Tension: c.f. recent debate on constitution –more power to the centre (old EEC countries) –liberalisation (newer member states) and reinforcement of national autonomy. What future for a European Social Model?

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