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Collective Action and Fundamental Freedoms in Europe

Striking the Balance

Book | 1st edition 2010 | Europe | Edoardo Ales, Tonia Novitz

Recent cases decided by the European Court of Justice have raised crucial issues regarding the scope for collective action in Europe. In this context, this collection of essays investigates treatment of the right to strike in seven Member States of the European Union: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Each national report examines how legal regulation seeks to address conflicting interests, namely those of employers, workers and the public at large. Each report also outlines the potential impact of EU jurisprudence in that country.

Striking the balance between domestic entitlements to take industrial action and the protection of EU fundamental freedoms is far from straightforward. The problem of balance is considered further in three supplementary essays. The first of these assesses the position of those engaged in or affected by collective action under conflict of law principles stated in Rome II. The second essay provides a comparative analysis of the constitutional status (or otherwise) of collective action. The volume ends with an essay which subjects to scrutiny the assumptions made by the European Court of Justice in the Viking and Laval judgments, which would seem to be questionable, in light of the national reports presented in this book.

‘Comparative labour law emerging from this book [...] launches new ideas and sends new messages, well beyond close self-referential circles, out into the borderless community of scholars, social partners and economic actors, interested in pursuing social justice.’
From the preface by Silvana Sciarra

‘[This book] undeniably contributes added value to the debate.’
Alexandre Defossez in 47 RTDeur 1 (2011)

‘I can strongly recommend that any interested scholar read this book very carefully. It is not possible in such a short space - as a review - to give justice to the richness of details and wisdom from all contributors and also national social features which are depicted in the book. However, the book sheds more light on the issues that have been discussed in scholarly circles since the infamous trilogy of cases was handed down by the ECJ in 2007 and 2008.’
Ronnie Eklund, in EuZA (2103) 564

Technical info
More Information
Type of product Book
Format Paperback
EAN / ISSN 9789400000728
Series name Social Europe Series
Weight 475 g
Status Available
Number of pages xii + 274 p.
Access to exercice No
Publisher Intersentia
Language English
Publication Date Jun 18, 2010
Available on Jurisquare No
Available on Strada Belgique No
Available on Strada Europe No
Available on Strada Luxembourg No


  • Table of Contents
  • 1. Preface
  • 2. National chapters
  • 2.1. Collective action in Belgium. Looking for the right to strike
    Filip Dorssemont
  • 2.2. Collective action in France. Towards a restriction of the right to strike?
    Sylvaine Laulom
  • 2.3. Collective action in Germany. A union-based system
    Olaf Deinert
  • 2.4. Collective action in Italy. Conceptualising the right to strike
    Edoardo Ales, Lorenzo Gaeta, Giovanni Orlandini
  • 2.5. Collective action in Spain
    Antonio Baylos Grau
  • 2.6. Collective Action in The Netherlands
    Teun Jaspers
  • 2.7. Collective action in the United Kingdom
    Tonia Novitz
  • 3. Collective action in labour conflicts under the Rome II Regulation
    Filip Dorssemont, Aukje van Hoek
  • 4. The law and the courts. Regulating strike in seven European countries
    Edoardo Ales
  • 5. The impact of Viking and Laval. Contesting the social function and legal regulation of the right to strike
    Tonia Novitz
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