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8 March 2013

Trade unions in south-east Europe: on the verge of marginalization?

The new 2012-3 issue of SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe gathers articles which are edited versions of papers delivered at a Belgrade conference devoted to the topic ‘Trade unions and politics in south-east Europe’.

The conference was organised against the background of growing awareness and concern that continuing loss of trade union density, and of overall trade union influence in this part of Europe can lead to a situation where unions may reach the verge of marginalization. The contributions focused on the important feature of trade union links to political parties and to the political system in general, and whether there should be a link between the two.

The authors of the papers attempt to answer the question whether political legacy of state socialism and current controversial practices in the relations between trade unions and political parties can be a reason for the continuing erosion of trade unions. Overall, the articles in this issue contribute to a better understanding of trade union weakness in central and south-east Europe, and try to develop strategies for reversing the negative trends.

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