Industrial Relations in the New Europe

Industrial Relations in the New Europe

Enlargement, Integration and Reform

Edited by Peter Leisink, Bram Stejin and Ulke Veersma

This book presents an evidence-based assessment of the impact of EU enlargement on industrial relations and social standards in old and new EU Member States. It combines chapters which give an overview of the process of enlargement/integration and comparative socio-economic data at EU and national level, with chapters that present an in-depth analysis of the impact of European integration on national industrial relations. These in-depth analyses cover both a number of old EU Member States in Western Europe and new Member States in Central and Eastern Europe. The book combines supranational European, Western and Eastern perspectives on the impact of European integration.

Preface

Edited by Peter Leisink, Bram Stejin and Ulke Veersma

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, social policy and sociology, labour policy

Extract

The IREC network was set up on Richard Hyman’s initiative following the first Industrial Relations in Europe Conference (IREC) at the University of Warwick in 1989. Since then, the IREC network has provided a platform for the exchange of ideas and critical debates on work and employment from a European perspective. The Utrecht School of Governance based at Utrecht University had the pleasure to host the 2004 IREC. The School’s interest in governance issues provided an obvious focus when choosing the conference theme: ‘Governance issues in shifting European industrial and employment relations’. However, it was not just the Utrecht School of Governance’s interest that inspired the conference theme: in 2001, the European Commission had published a White Paper on ‘European Governance’ recognizing that social dialogue forms part of the democratic governance of Europe and that social dialogue is crucial in responding adequately to the challenges of economic and social reform and of enlargement. Indeed, the enlargement of the European Union, as of 1 May 2004, led to the accession of ten new Member States, with eight of these originating from Central and Eastern Europe. With this enlargement, the diversity within the European Union increased significantly, particularly in terms of employment conditions and social dialogue arrangements. The enlargement spurred European political interest in governance and in the so-called Open Method of Coordination as a means to deal with this increase in diversity. A parallel surge in research interest in governance issues can be observed. As a result, IREC 2004 at the...