The European Employment Strategy, the European Social Pillar and their Impact on Labour Law Reform in the European Union

The article provides a critical account of the impact of the European Employment Strategy (EES) on national labour market policies and labour law systems. It gives an overview of the development of the EES from the 1990s until the introduction of the European Social Pillar (ESP) and analyses its impact in the Member States of the European Union. In particular, it highlights the origins of the EES in debates about European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and examines the importance and the specific nature of the new governance approach adopted by the EES and its significance for labour law reform in the Member States. The article argues that the latest stage in the development of European social policy, associated with the introduction of the ESP, has not led to a change in direction in European social and employment law and policy. Despite its rights-based approach, the ESP merely constitutes the latest stage in the development of the EES and continues in its attempt to prioritize labour market policy concerns in reforming labour law. However, the article also argues that the ESP has potential to be the platform for a proper Social Union.


Author(s) R. Rogowski
Language English
Year of publication Sep, 2019
Journal International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations
Volume, Number 35, 3
Page(s) 283–303
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