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.

Chapter 5: Slovenia’s Integration in the European Market Economy: Gradualism and its ‘Rigidities’

Miroslav Stanojevic and Urban Vehovar

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


5. Slovenia’s Integration into the European Market Economy: Gradualism and its ‘Rigidities’ Miroslav Stanojevic and Urban Vehovar INTRODUCTION Slovenia has endured many transitions since gaining its independence in 1991. Offe, for instance, sees the ‘triple transition’ of post-socialist regimes: the transition to statehood, the transition to a capitalist economy and the transition to a democratic political regime (Offe 1991). Similarly, Mrak, Rojec and Silva-Jauregui define Slovenia’s triple transition as the transition from the socialist to a market economy, plus the ‘parallel transitions from a regional to the national economy, and from being a part of SFR Yugoslavia to becoming an independent state and an aspiring member of the enlarged European Union’ (Mrak, Rojec and Silva-Jauregui 2004, p. xx). The latter, the transition to EU membership, can be viewed as crucial. From the very beginning, the process of Europeanization, perceived as the development of a social market economy, has strongly determined the Slovenian transition. This was consensually accepted among all the social actors and political parties who tacitly agreed that a ‘big bang’, i.e. a ‘shock therapy’ approach, was inappropriate for Slovenia’s inclusion in the European market economy. Constitutionally defined as a social market economy, Slovenia proceeded with a practice of historically-conditioned institutional isomorphism that strongly resembled the German model. At the same time, it was exposed to the constraints common to other European countries – the process of European monetary unification, unfavourable demographic trends, and also to the wider and well-known general escalation of international competition within a global market. Compared...

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