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Collective action and economic freedoms before the European Court of Justice

Brian Bercusson Assessment of the Opinions of the Advocates General in Laval and Viking and six alternative solutions

Date de publication : 2007

Nombre de pages : 60

Edité par :

Brian Bercusson


 Based on the work of the ETUI-REHS Research Group on Transnational Trade Union Rights (co-ordinator, Professor Brian Bercusson), this publication assesses the Opinions of the Advocates General of the Court in Laval and Viking cases and proposes six solutions which may be considered satisfactory from the point of view both of legal doctrine and industrial relations practice.
Chapter headings:


  • Collective action is not subject to and falls outside the scope of the Treaty’s economic free movement provisions (the Albany solution);


  • Employers may not use economic freedoms in the Treaty against trade unions taking collective action (horizontal direct effect);


  • Subsidiarity excludes EC competence to regulate collective action;


  • Workers’ right to take collective action balances employers’ economic freedoms;


  • Interpreting the Treaty as recognising that collective action is essential to the effective functioning of the internal market;


  • Ordre communataire social protects collective action by workers and trade unions.

ETUI, Brussels, ISBN 978-2-87452-108-9

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