New Labour Laws in Old Member States : Trade Union Responses to European Enlargement

Zahn, Rebecca (2017) New Labour Laws in Old Member States : Trade Union Responses to European Enlargement. Studies in European Law and Policy . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9781107037335

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On 1 May 2004, eight post-communist states in Central and Eastern Europe joined the European Union. On 1 January 2007, Romania and Bulgaria became the ninth and tenth Eastern European States to accede to the EU. It is difficult to overestimate the political and economic significance of these eastern enlargements. In the years that have followed, the enlargements have resulted in an increase in the free movement of workers from 'new' to 'old' Member States. The unprecedented scale of intra-EU migration has had a visible impact on the labour markets of old Member States and, in particular, on national trade unions. This book undertakes a contextualised comparison of trade union responses in Austria, Germany, Ireland, Sweden and the UK to the challenges posed by the EU enlargements in 2004 and 2007, and in particular the migration of new Member State workers by examining the relationship between trade unions and labour law at a national and European level. This allows for a determination of the kinds of laws that would benefit trade unions at a national and European level and illustrates how trade unions can use law and the opportunities that law has to offer them to better respond to changing regulatory and opportunity structures existing at a national and European level following the recent enlargements.


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