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The ongoing austerity crisis is being felt in all sectors of EU law, but has had a particularly severe impact on labour law. Silvana Sciarra, a leading judge and scholar of EU employment law, considers how solidarity regimes have been shaken by the crisis. She brings together existing European policies in social and employment law, to enhance synergies and developments in a post-crisis discourse. She looks at reactions of national constitutional courts to austerity measures and of international organizations in re-establishing respect of fundamental workers' rights. Criticizing soft law approaches in employment policies, she favours recourse to binding measures connected with selective financial incentives through European funds. She highlights developments in European sector social dialogue and new horizons of transnational collective bargaining in large multinationals. Taking a positive, practical approach, Sciarra shows how social policies can enhance solidarity and social cohesion, through European financial support.
The aim of this chapter is to argue that the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ’s) rulings in Viking and Laval raise a not completely explicit, but nevertheless significant, challenge to the role and function of national trade unions. Unions must face the dilemma of adjusting action taken to protect their members to the economic freedoms of the EU, whenever there is a situation of potential social dumping.
The title of this paper embraces three concepts which will be used as paths to reach a destination. The destination is Italy, taken as an example of an active promoter of European integration, even when facing difficulties in complying with its obligations under the EC Treaty.
The first path leads towards judicial intervention, seen as a major tool for making changes within a national legal system. Some examples (section III) concern the scrutiny that the ECJ operates, when prompted by the Commission, acting under Article 88(2) EC. Other examples (sections IV and V) are related to the open dialogue national judges engage in with the ECJ, when they start preliminary references under Article 234 EC.
A foreword written by an older academic who followed and supervised a younger colleague's work conceals a very subtle dilemma. Praising too much or too little may reveal differing degrees of involvement in someone else's work and even a concern not to interfere with a distinct and separate intellectual enhancement. And yet, sharing the doubts, the aspirations and the fears of the lengthy enterprise leading to the publication of a book means, in a sense, becoming part of that journey, while at the same time maintaining a sufficiently detached critical eye.
When the final result – as in the present case – follows a rigorous, well-balanced and deeply investigated line of research, self-restraint must give way to enthusiasm and joy. A wide community of readers now becomes the addressee of what the author delivers. The circulation of ideas thus starts to follow an unpredictable route, since this book challenges the curiosities of scholars in both labour law and European law.
Stefano Giubboni is a member of a very special generation of European labour lawyers, whose interests spread well beyond the boundaries of domestic law. The stimulating environment of the European University Institute contributed, in expanding the research questions and adding new dimensions to both national and European legal research.
However, Stefano Giubboni's writing is characterized by an inborn personal instinct to seek out the historical and social reasons behind the law.