On 21 May 2019, at the 14th statutory ETUC Congress in Vienna, the Brian Bercusson Award 2019 was awarded to Dr. Pieter Pecinovsky, legal counsel with the law firm ‘Van Olmen & Wynant’ (Brussels), for his PhD thesis entitled ‘EU economic governance and the right to collective bargaining - a legal research on the problematic relationship of European economic policy and fundamental social rights’.

The Award was created as a tribute to the late Labour Law Professor and leading expert on European labour, Brian Bercusson. To maintain his legacy and encourage the development of EU labour law, the ETUC and the ETUI, together with the ETUI Transnational Trade Union Rights experts network (TTUR), instituted a special award to honour Bercusson’s outstanding scholarship and dynamic scientific contribution that is of such deep relevance to the work of the European trade union movement.

Pieter Pecinovsky’s doctoral research investigates the problematic relationship between EU economic governance and the right to collective bargaining as anchored in ILO, Council of Europe and EU Treaties and (case) law. In particular, it looks at the question of whether the country- specific recommendations (CSRs) arising from the EU economic governance mechanisms prompted the Member States to (drastically) restrict the right to collective bargaining. The research makes several recommendations: firstly, to the EU institutions and the Member States, aimed at preventing the issue of recommendations that severely restrict the right to collective bargaining; secondly, to ensure better ex-post monitoring (by the EU and the Member States) of the implementation of the recommendations by the Member States; thirdly, on how to improve the access of social partners to the Court of Justice of the EU when they are disadvantaged by EU economic governance; and, finally, encouraging the EU to improve cooperation (e.g. through judicial dialogue or network governance) with the legal orders of the Council of Europe and the ILO to avoid incoherence between the different legal orders in the interpretation of the right to collective bargaining.

For an interview with Dr. Pieter Pecinovsky, please contact the ETUI.

Short biography of Dr. Pieter Pecinovksy

  • Born 1990 in Belgium
  • 2013: Master in Law at the Catholic University of Louvain (KUL, Belgium)
  • Since 2018: Of Counsel and Knowledge Manager at ‘Van Olmen & Wynant’ (Law Firm, Belgium)
  • Since 2013: working at/associated with the Institute for Labour Law of KU Leuven
  • Since 2018: ‘Chargé de cours invite’ at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL, Belgium)
  • Since 2014: Member of the Belgian section of the Academic Network on the European Social Charter and Social Rights (ANESC)
  • Since 2015: Editor of the “Nieuw Juridisch Weekblad” (Kluwer, Belgium) van Kluwer.
  • Since 2019: Member of the Belgian Society for Labour and Social Security Law (BEGASOZ ABETRASS)

Photo Credit: ETUI