Towards a European labour market? Trade unions and flexicurity in France and Britain


Milner, S., 2012. Towards a European labour market? Trade unions and flexicurity in France and Britain. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 18 (3), pp. 219-234.

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    The flexicurity approach to labour market policy may offer advantages for trade unions but also poses challenges, given their weak situation in policy formulation at EU level and in many member states. This article explores unions’ capacity to mobilize around flexicurity issues and to influence policy debates and outcomes in two member states. In the UK, flexicurity has low political salience and unions have little capacity for mobilization or influence, although they have linked flexicurity to campaigns on agency workers and restructuring. In France, unions have developed alternative proposals on making employment pathways secure and have succeeded in shifting debate towards these proposals rather than the Commission’s flexicurity recommendations, although differences with the positions of employers and the state have limited outcomes to date. EU policies provide only weak leverage, since trade unions’ ability to influence labour market policy depends on their position within domestic institutions.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsMilner, S.
    Related URLs
    URLURL Type
    Uncontrolled Keywordspoverty, work and justice
    DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Politics Languages and International Studies
    Research Centres & Institutes > Institute for Policy Research
    ID Code27736


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