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date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the case law on free movement, the court regularly pronounces on the legality of laws in the context of corporate governance, worker protection and tax avoidance. In the context of freedom of establishment, the case law has evolved to the point where cross-state differences in laws affecting the business enterprise are seen as potential obstacles to free movement. The court then applies a strict proportionality test, which puts an onus on member states to defend the aims of national measures and the means used to achieve them. As a result, economic integration has acquired an inherently deregulatory bias. This is far removed from the original conception of the internal market as an opportunity for the levelling up of social standards and for policy experimentation and learning. We argue that a focus on regulatory competition as the inevitable by-product of free movement law is needed to better understand these issues.

Keywords: free movement, labour law, company law, taxation, regulatory competition, reflexive harmonization, fundamental rights

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