Before and After the Economic Crisis
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Before and After the Economic Crisis

What Implications for the ‘European Social Model’?

Edited by Marie-Ange Moreau

This timely book casts new light on the key issues arising from the contentious debate around the future of the European Social Model. The book brings together leading experts to provide a thorough and well-informed response to the recent developments in European social and labour law and policy, in the light of institutional changes. The contributors provide unique insights as they evaluate the impact of the enlargement processes, the implications of the Lisbon treaty, the integration of the Charter into EU law – and, crucially, the consequences of the economic crisis.
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Chapter 12: Toward New Synergies through Worker Representatives?

Sylvaine Laulom


Sylvaine Laulom For Brian Bercusson (2004), participation of workers through their representatives was without doubt, part of the European Social Model. According to him: Contrasting the presence and role of trade unions and workers’ representative organisation in the USA with European experience illustrates the singularity of the European model of employment and industrial relations. Its manifestation, in all its diversity at both EU and Member States levels, in the form of macrolevel national dialogue, collective bargaining at intersectoral and sectoral levels, and collective participation in decision-making at the workplace is the most salient quality distinguishing the European model of employment and industrial relations. In another article he wrote that ‘EU law is shaping an economic model incorporating mandatory information and consultation of employees and their representatives’ (Bercusson, 2002). The building of a European model of workers’ participation started in the 1970s (Laulom, 2005). The Community’s first Social Action Program of 1974 had three main objectives. One of them was the increased involvement of management and labour in the economic and social decisions of the Community and of workers in companies. After the adoption of the first social directives in 1975 and 1977 dealing with workers’ participation and restructurings of enterprises,1 workers’ participation has been one of the main areas of European intervention along with gender and discrimination and health and safety. The importance given to workers’ 1 Council Directive 75/129/EEC of 17 February 1975 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to collective redundancies, OJ...

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