How to make the voice of trade unions heard at the EU level
If ‘Social Europe’ is only a patchwork of national solutions, it will not stand up to a confrontation with an ‘Economic’ Europe with its much stronger ties. It is therefore necessary to seek solutions of a cross-border nature to a certain, essential, extent that will be acceptable to national trade unions. It is high time these organizations adopted some kind of targeted strategy, as they cannot continue to wait at the crossroads, especially at a time of powerful objective challenges that the world of work faces, such as technological, climate, migrational, and demographic change. Such a strategy is needed especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it new questions about the future of the world of work. Certainly, it cannot be answered by just national recipes from the ‘good old days’.
How to build the social dimension of European integration, then? The conclusions of the ARTUS CEE research project led by the Institute of Public Affairs indicate that there is a need for some area-oriented actions to stimulate the partial development of a European level industrial relations. Referring to the research findings, Sławomir Adamczyk recommends a set of measures to be implemented by trade unions from Central and Eastern Europe, by European trade federations and the ETUC, and by the institutions of the European Unions.