The meta-regulation of European industrial relations: Power shifts, institutional dynamics and the emergence of regulatory competition among Member States

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Publication details

JournalInternational Labour Review
DatePublished - Jun 2013
Issue number2
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)255-274
Original languageEnglish


The article comprises three parts. First, we discuss three key concepts used in our research; namely structural power, European social space and meta-governance. In the second and empirical part of the article, we examine attempts to institute market-enhancing modes of metagovernance. These attempts are exemplified either through the proposal of the Service Directive or through the rulings of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the cases of Laval, Viking, Luxemburg and Rüffert. We examine the response of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) to these challenges, and discuss the tensions that arise from these rulings between labour and capital but also between national and European spaces of action. In the third part we put forward an alternative framework which allows us to elucidate the particular form of (emerging) meta-governance of industrial relations in the EU and the challenges that stem for unions within the European social space.

Bibliographical note

© The authors 2013. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

    Research areas

  • Competition, ECJ, governance, meta-regulation, social space, power

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