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Labour Market Politics through Jurisprudence: The Influence of the Judgements of the European Court of Justice (Viking, Laval, Rüffert, Luxembourg) on Labour Market Policies

GPS, Vol. 7 No. 1, (2011)

Recent judgements of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) – on Viking,
Laval, Rüffert and Luxembourg – systematically prioritised economic
freedoms against fundamental social rights. The decisions produced
widespread debates not only in the European countries concerned. Critics
warned of a radicalization of the internal market integration with negative
consequences for the European welfare states. The cases not only raise the
question of the relation between European law and national law, but have
impacts on national industrial relations systems and therefore on labour
market policies of the member states. The countries came under pressure to
respond to the judgements and had to adjust their policies accordingly.
Regarding the consequences of the decisions it is necessary, however, to
differentiate between national systems. Due to the diversity of the different
systems of industrial relations, the impacts of the cases differ from country
to country. In this article, it will be shown how member states, which were
the trigger for the respective ECJ decisions or which are particularly
effected by the judgements, respond to the ECJ jurisprudence.

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