The Viking and Laval Cases in the context of European enlargement

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In the recent Viking and Laval cases the ECJ was asked to clarify the extent to wh ich collective action may be used to resist social dump ing within the EU. The cases arose in the midst of an increasing fear amongst trade un ions and workers in old Member States that their economic and social position was being threatened by new Member State workers and enterprises availing themselves o f their free movement rights under the EC Treaty in order to engage in social dumping. The recent European enlargements have enhanced social diversity within the EU thereby increasing societal and economic challenges for the trade unions in the old Member States. Moreover, due to the lack of effective industrial relations s tructures in the majority of new Member States the EU is faced with the difficult ta sk of creating an integrated system of industrial relations within the European Social Model. The Viking and Laval cases exemplify the difficult road ahead. Therefore, this paper proposes to place Viking and Laval into the context of an enlarged European Union in order to assess the significance and implications of the cases for the future of trade unions and the European social model.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalWeb Journal of Current Legal Issues
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • social dumping
  • European social model
  • trade unions
  • European member states


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