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ARTUS-CEE „Articulation of the Trade Unions' Strategies on upward convergence of social standards in the enlarged European Union – voice of CEE countries”

Over a decade after the EU enlargement by Central and Eastern European states, there is still a significant divergence in quality of industrial relations between the old member states and the new ones. The CEE members have been experiencing a decreasing collective bargaining coverage and the deterioration (verging on absence) of developed sectoral bargaining systems. The poor condition of industrial relations is further amplified by opportunistic behaviour of transnational corporations which find weakness of institutional environment convenient. As a result, the prospects for effective upward convergence in social standards and welfare systems across EU are undermined, and doubts may arise whether successful implementation of the European Social Model in the member states from CEE is feasible. 

Given the above context, the project seeks an answer to the question about the CEE trade union visions of  Europeanisation of industrial relations, in particular, regarding building common EU-level IR standards. 

To this end the project seeks to confront  the views of trade unions from: Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, on the one hand, with the perspective of the West European labour movement embodied in the voices of industrial relations experts representing: Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, on the other. The project will reach out to CEE trade union officers to record their account of the current state of and future prospects for the process of EU integration on the level of industrial relations, and subsequently make it subject to critical analysis from the old member state experts. 
Project duration: March 2019 —  February 2021

Institute of Public Affairs (PL) – coordinator
Lithuanian Social Research Centre (LT)
Institute of Public Policy (RO)
University of Ljubljana (SLO)
Centre for Economic Development (BG)
Central European Labour Studies Institute (SK)

Co-funding: European Commission -DG Employment Social Affairs and Inclusion

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