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Quelques observations sur les évolutions juridiques


  • Marie-Ange Moreau


While the law on labor relations has proven a certain degree of adaptability to the conditions of a world economy marked by international trade and the appearance of multinational enterprises, the challenges resulting from globalisation seem to be of another order : National labor law can no longer fully grasp the reality of internationally fragmented production, States themselves come under the pressure of regulatory competition, and economic and social conditions in- and outside the enterprise develop faster than the law evolves or than existing law can be enforced effectively. The report substantiates these propositions in a first section by explaining the development of national labor law both as regards the substance of its application to multinational enterprises and as regards the extraterritorial reach of its enforcement. In addition, transnational rules have been established, mainly by the European Union, in particular with respect to matters of employee representation. Another new phenomenon is that social partners themselves have adapted their relations to the conditions of globalisation either by voluntarily and unilaterally adopting rules of social conduct or by establishing new forms of a social dialogue. A second part of the report is devoted to the development of truly « global » rules of labor relations which match the territorial scope of globalized industrial activities. As an example, the report gives a historical account of the ill-fated controversies over the insertion of a « social clause » in the WTO-agreement, and then explains the activities which the ILO has developed more recently in order to bring States to voluntarily accept a minimum of social standards. Finally, the report points to the more promising efforts to establish binding social standards on the level of regional integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Ange Moreau, 2002. "Quelques observations sur les évolutions juridiques," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 383-400.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_162_0383

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