Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transfer publishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments.

Volume 21 Issue 3, August 2015

The process of eastern enlargement of the European Union (EU) embraced post-socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) for the first time in 2004, followed by further eastward EU enlargements in 2007 and 2013. These enlargements brought wide-ranging expectations for the economies, societies and labour markets of the new Member States in CEE. Among other expectations, EU enlargement fuelled hopes on the side of labour for improvements in living and working standards as well as in social protection after the difficult transition years in the 1990s. EU membership was also perceived as a potential and likely source for strengthening labour’s institutional resources. This should have occurred through more support for strengthening the basic pillars of western democracies, including through strong trade unions, collective bargaining institutions, a functioning tripartism and employee voice at the workplace, also in the new Member States.

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