Global Governance of Labour Rights
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Global Governance of Labour Rights

Assessing the Effectiveness of Transnational Public and Private Policy Initiatives

Edited by Axel Marx, Jan Wouters, Glenn Rayp and Laura Beke

This insightful book incorporates perspectives from several disciplines to provide a unique systematic analysis of emerging public and private initiatives in global labour rights governance. The expert contributors explore the complexities of labour rights governance in a global economy characterized by transnational supply chains. They assess how transnational, intergovernmental and private initiatives aim to address the challenges of global labour rights protection before discussing the effectiveness of these initiatives and presenting new empirical findings. The book concludes with a detailed reflection on how to strengthen the global regime of labour rights governance.
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Chapter 6: EU economic governance and labour rights: diversity and coherence in the EU, the Council of Europe and ILO instruments

Frank Hendrickx and Pieter Pecinovsky


Since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008, the European Union has been in search of effective policy responses to overcome the crisis and to rescue the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). This went hand in hand with a strong emphasis on ‘fiscal’ consolidation, stricter economic and budgetary surveillance and new enforcement mechanisms. Through the ‘Six Pack’ legislation and the European semester new legal and governance techniques have been introduced to keep convergence and reform agendas in place. In addition, specific measures were made for member states in budgetary difficulties with a strong emphasis on austerity. In this framework, the question is how this ‘economic governance’ can go together with ‘social governance’, having in mind that both economic and social progress are central aims of European integration. It has become clear that social challenges are either at the origin or at the outcome of economic governance mechanisms. Labour law is only one, though highly relevant, component in this economic governance context, as it includes ‘sensitive’ matters, such as wage setting, collective bargaining and retirement schemes. These issues are subject to monitoring through recommendations by the EU institutions and are part of national reform programmes.

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