Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann, Katerina Pantazatou and Giovanni Zaccaroni
Chapter 7: The European Economic Constitution and the constitution of a social Europe: gleanings from the CJEUs collective redundancies cases
The European Directive on collective redundancies n. 98/59, in line with its predecessor n. 75/129, sets procedural limits to the employer when contemplating the dismissal of a certain number of employees. Some Member States have established restrictive disciplines on collective redundancies, thus including additional burdens of a substantive nature on the employer, not confined to information and consultation, and notification procedures to the public authority. Among them, Greece introduced since 1983 a veto power by the Ministry of Labour, where collective redundancies are potentially prejudicial for employees, taking account of certain reasons of general interest. Tested before the European Court of Justice in AGET Iraklis (C-201/15), this legislation was found to be contrary in concreto to the freedom of establishment (Article 49 TFEU). From this ruling on collective redundancies, a broader reflection can be developed on the balancing exercise between economic freedoms and employment protections proposed by the Court’s case law, in the framework of the principles set by the Treaties, directives and the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union.
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