Industrial action and the peace obligation on the internal market in Europe

Industrial action and the peace obligation on the internal market in Europe – a comparative project assessing consequences of the ECJ’s Viking and Laval jurisprudence

The theme of the future of industrial relations in the EU is very topical in the aftermath of the judgments Laval and Viking in the EU Court of Justice.

This project will focus specially on remedies and economic sanctions for unlawful action, as this is a field where not much comparative research has been done yet. Also, national traditions differ widely here. Thus, it is crucial to consider the relation of any concept of unlawfulness of industrial action at national level and at EU level.

The question in such a situation is of course whether there are any EU specific sanctions in such a case – a question to which the Swedish Labour Court gave a positive answer in its final judgment in the Laval case (December 2009). The research hypothesis is that most EU Member States have restricted the possibilities to claim economic damages for industrial action. Thus, it would be surprising if EU law would demand to establish sanctions for the same.

This small project shall lay the base by providing information on remedies for “unlawful” industrial action at national levels in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, and how it relates to the national labour market system more generally. It also aims to initiate a discussion on how international instruments can be interpreted in this context.

Publications and outputs

  • The results of the project will be published in an edited collection.