The internationalization of industrial relations in Europe: Prospects and problems
European industrial relations are rapidly internationalizing; internationalization, however, is not necessarily de-nationalization. Even as European integration accelerates, national politics and industrial relations will remain the principal arenas for the social regulation of work and employment in Europe. The paper investigates the implications of European industrial relations developing into a multi-level system within which national regimes compete with each other in an integrated international market. In particular, it tries to outline the emerging new peace formula between business and labor in Europe, which is centered on the notion of joint competitiveness, and its consequences for social protection and the regulation of labor markets. Five examples are given for the continuing importance of national industrial relations in integrated Europe: the renewal of tripartite concertation at national level, especially under the pressure of the Maastricht criteria; the likely impact of European Monetary Union on national collective bargaining regimes; the practical consequences of the European Works Councils Directive of 1994; the experience with the Social Dialogue since the Maastricht Treaty; and the Posted Workers Directive, which is discussed as a possible paradigm of the future relationship between European and national social protection in Europe.
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