Under the impact of Europeanisation and globalisation a transformation of the state in the area of transnational labour law-building takes place: the nation-state is losing its monopoly in norm-building, complementary norm-building actors – transnational social dialogues – are gaining ground. Four of such transnational norm-building social dialogues are acting under different, sometimes opaque legal conditions: European works councils; cross-sector social dialogues; sectoral social dialogues; social partners concluding transnational company agreements. Within the project, these four transnational social dialogues are studied and compared with respect to their norm-building achievements. Four qualitative areas of labour law are taken into account: health & safety at the workplace; information & consultation at plant and enterprise level; non-discrimination in work-life; conciliation between worklife and extra-work life. Our research interest is to find out whether and under which legal circumstances the norm-building achievements of transnational social dialogues in these four areas satisfy legal welfare-state criteria which are normally provided by nation-states.
Five research questions will guide the study:
- Which forms and procedures of transnational social dialogues are currently emerging?
- Which norm-building activities in the four above-mentioned labour law areas are nowadays performed by transnational social dialogues? How does the diffusion process of these norms work?
- Does this new transnational norm-building, when analysed in a legal dogmatic and legal political way, correspond to European-wide welfare state- values and criteria?
- Are the newly emerging norm-building procedures and norm-products legally connected with the structures of states and international organisations in a manner which allows for the assumption that their legal vigour and their implementation, hence their effectiveness is increased?
- Which legal provisions have to be established in order to achieve that the new hybrid norm-building arrangement becomes an adequate element of a renewed Social Europe and of a civilised globalism?
The project will study all existing transnational social dialogue documents, evaluate their norm-building contribution in the four labour law areas and study their legal effectiveness. Additionally it will perform qualitative case studies testing the different legal frameworks of the social dialogues and their effectiveness in the four areas. Data bases for European works councils (1.649 documents, 77 thematic and 103 global ones), for cross-sector (648 documents) and sectoral social dialogues (385 documents until 2005) and for transnational company agreements (199 documents, out of which 10 global ones) will be evaluated.
Final report 2015 in German
Project application 2012-2014 in German