This report examines in depth the legality of the measures taken by the European Union, alongside the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the wake of the financial and debt crisis. Beginning with a factual presentation of the European Union’s post-crisis agenda, which has focused on a flexible, productivity-based wage policy, the authors then establish in which areas the EU’s demands have interfered with existing collective bargaining systems, i.e. with autonomy in collective bargaining. These measures are assessed in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, with specific regard to the right of collective bargaining enshrined in Article 28 of the Charter. In some instances, this interference will consequently prove to be unlawful, in particular owing to the violation of the principle of proportionality. Where this is the case, various options for judicial remedy are suggested.By placing the post-crisis policy squarely within the context of collective labour law and assessing its legality, the report establishes standards that should be observed not only in scholarly debate but also in the setting of the European Union’s future political agenda.
The report was published first within the Book series of Hugo-Sinzheimer-Institut Frankfurt in 2015. Due to the Europe-wide relevance of the subject, the ETUI decided to translate and publish this English translation in its own publication series.