Trade unions and the challenges of EU enlargement: the kind of laws the unions ought to want

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The recent EU enlargements in 2004 and 2007 have thrown up changed regulatory and opportunity structures for European trade unions, primarily as a consequence of an increase in the free movement of workers, services and establishment. In addition, the European enlargements came at a time when Member State governments were attempting to 'modernise' their labour and social security systems in order to combat the effects of an enlarged Europe within a globalised world economy. As a result, trade unions find themselves in a vulnerable position within their domestic legal systems and are required to reassess the type of functions that they can adopt at a national and European level in order to effectively respond to European enlargement. Against this background, this article considers the kind of laws the unions ought to want in order to effectively respond to the challenges facing them following the enlargements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Labour Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2016


  • European enlargement
  • trade unions
  • labour law
  • migration

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