International Labour Review, Vol. 152 (2013), No. 2

The meta-regulation of European industrial relations: Power shifts, institutional dynamics and the emergence of regulatory competition

“Meta-regulation” describes the transnational governance of industrial relations emerging from attempts to resolve conflicts between national collective agreements and EU Member States’ freedom to provide services and post workers abroad. The norm underpinning such meta-regulation is competition, not only between workers from different EU Member States but also between States’ labour regulations. Using the concepts of “structural power” and “social field”, the authors discuss judicial decisions that illustrate the gradual meta-regulation of industrial relations in the EU and show how the power asymmetry between labour and capital is growing in favour of the latter.


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