Sciarra, Silvana. (2005) Fundamental Labour Rights after the Lisbon Agenda. WP C.S.D.L.E. "Massimo D'Antona" N. 36/2005. [Working Paper]
[From the Introduction]. This chapter is focused principally on current developments in European social and employment policies. The intention is to consider the original character of EU legal approaches in these fields and to investigate whether, using the notion of fundamental labour rights, there can be a beneficial expansion of this notion by means of a broader circulation of international sources. ‘Circulation’ is a notion grounded on the necessary interrelation – and in some cases the interdependence – of sources generated within different legal systems. A ‘pluralistic’ point of view, not new in Western European legal traditions, reappears in current legal discourse. The main objective of this chapter is to capture developments occurring within national and supranational legal orders, and to interpret their possible outcomes in terms of new entitlements both for individuals and for groups. The hypothesis on which this chapter is based is that the evolution of labour law at national level has been influenced by EU law, while maintaining its own dominant characteristics. This observation suggests that national diversities enrich the multi-cultural and multi-level legal environment in which law-making takes place. In the first phase of the so-called Lisbon strategy, national legislatures have been extremely active in furthering labour law reforms. Legislation adopted over the years has intervened significantly in the regulation of individual contracts of employment and, more broadly, has had an impact on the reform of national labour markets. If one bears in mind the original four pillars of the European employment strategy (EES), one soon realizes that there has been a convergence of national legislatures towards similar areas of intervention. A related argument is that national legislatures had a rather predictable canvas on which lines could be drawn and colours could be mixed.
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