Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the relationship between the EU and national systems of labour law. It explains the compromise reached in the Treaty of Rome and how it has begun to unravel. Both EU internal market law and the process of first creating and now governing the Eurozone in a time of crisis have had significant negative effects on the ability of the Member States to preserve and develop national systems of labour law. What has been lost at the national level has not been replaced at the European level, despite the gradual increase in the EU’s competence in the social field. While the new constitutional structure agreed at the Treaty of Lisbon offers some comfort, particularly as regards the relationship between economic freedoms and fundamental rights, it is important that all actors involved in the making of EU law find a better way to reconcile ‘the economic’ and ‘the social’.
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