Collective bargaining in Europe in the 21st century

Report
Updated
04 November 2015
Published
04 November 2015
Formats
Executive summary in 22 languages

PDF

Abstract

Collective bargaining systems in the EU have undergone a steady change since the end of the 1990s. But as businesses across Europe struggle to respond to intensifying global competition, pressure from employers for greater flexibility in collective bargaining is increasing, especially since the 2008 economic crisis. This report sets out to map developments in all major aspects of collective bargaining (apart from pay and working time, which have been analysed separately by Eurofound) over the past 15 years. In doing so, it aims to distinguish long-term trends and to identify changes brought on by the crisis. It also aims to identify the directions collective bargaining is likely to take in the coming years. The study finds a common and strong trend of convergence across the EU towards decentralisation and more flexibility in collective bargaining processes, but with significant asymmetries in the timing and pace of change. An executive summary is available - see related content.

  • Full report

    Number of Pages: 
    84
    Reference No: 
    EF1548
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-1406-8
    Catalogue: 
    TJ-02-15-697-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/135652
    Catalogue info

    Collective bargaining in Europe in the 21st century

    Collective bargaining systems in the EU have undergone a steady change since the end of the 1990s. But as businesses across Europe struggle to respond to intensifying global competition, pressure from employers for greater flexibility in collective bargaining is increasing, especially since the 2008 economic crisis.

    Available formats

  • Executive summary

    Reference No: 
    EF15481
    Catalogue info

    Collective bargaining in Europe in the 21st century - Executive summary

    Authors: 
    Eurofound

    Collective bargaining systems, frameworks and practices in the EU have come under some pressure in recent years. Against a steady, long-term decline in the numbers of companies and workers covered by a collective agreement, employer organisations and some politicians and experts argue that the collective bargaining system is too static and inflexible. They insist that companies need more room for manoeuvre to adapt, specify and also deviate from higher-level agreements to respond better to accelerated global competition. This pressure has increased since the 2008 crisis, when a number of EU Member States, in response to high unemployment rates, implemented labour reforms aimed at increasing competitiveness, productivity and job creation. Read more in the report - see Related content.

    Available in 22 languages for download

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