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Dock Labor Schemes in the Context of EU Law and Policy


  • Patrick Verhoeven


The organization of dock labor and, more in particular, the use of dock labor schemes has been under EU scrutiny for a long while. The EU however has not come with clear-cut answers so far. The diversity of dock labor schemes existing in Europe is an important factor in assessing their compatibility with EU law. The compliance of dock labor schemes with internal market principles such as the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment has not been put to the direct test of European jurisprudence yet. It was the European Commission’s Directive proposal on port services that put the principle of freedom to provide services centre-stage. This paper sets out the EU legal and policy framework that applies to dock labor schemes. It also gives an extensive analysis of how dock labor interests contributed to the failure of the port services’ Directive. It further describes the process that emerged after the downfall of the Directive, including the proposal to set up a European social dialogue on port labor. Finally, it gives insight in ways in which European policy-makers may address the issue in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Verhoeven, 2011. "Dock Labor Schemes in the Context of EU Law and Policy," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(2), pages 149-166.
  • Handle: RePEc:ers:journl:v:xiv:y:2011:i:2:p:149-166

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Constantinos I. Chlomoudis & Athanasios A. Pallis, 2002. "European Union Port Policy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2821.
    2. Patrick Verhoeven, 2009. "European ports policy: meeting contemporary governance challenges," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(1), pages 79-101, February.
    3. Peter Turnbull, 2006. "The War on Europe's Waterfront - Repertoires of Power in the Port Transport Industry," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 305-326, June.
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    More about this item


    Dock Labor; Dock Labor Scheme; Port Services; Market Access; Port Policy; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law


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