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Journal Article

The Council of the Social Partners? EC Social Policy Between Diplomacy and Collective Bargaining


Falkner,  Gerda
Problemlösungsfähigkeit der Mehrebenenpolitik in Europa, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Falkner, G. (2000). The Council of the Social Partners? EC Social Policy Between Diplomacy and Collective Bargaining. Journal of European Public Policy, 7(5), 705-724. doi:10.1080/13501760010014911.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-55DD-7
Contemporary EC social policy-making is characterized by the coexistence and entanglement of governmental negotiations in the Council of Ministers and collective bargaining between the major economic EU-interest group federations. This contribution outlines the issues so far negotiated under this postMaastricht social policy regime and analyses the general as well as the specific framework conditions for each collective bargaining process. The concluding section outlines relevant factors for the probability of any social partner agreement. First, the employer federation UNICE is only willing to negotiate with its labour counterpart in the 'shadow of law'. Second, pre-existing national traditions of collective bargaining can be 'uploaded'. Third, general considerations concerning the development of an industrial relations culture at the EU level have so far been as important as material interests, within the collective negotiations between ETUC, UNICE and CEEP.