Collective Bargaining in Europe

  • Kjellberg, Anders (PI)
  • Waddington, Jeremy (Project coordinator)
  • Vandaele, Kurt (Project coordinator)
  • Müller, Torsten (Project coordinator)

Project: Research

Project Details


Bedrivs 2016-2019 vid European Trade Union Institute (Etui) i Bryssel med deltagare från samtliga 28 EU-länder.
The editors description: This book consists of four volumes that chart the development of collective bargaining since the year 2000 in the 28 EU Member States. The book comprises an introduction setting the scene, 28 country chapters which are written by leading experts of collective bargaining in the respective country and which assess the unique trajectory of collective bargaining in a Member State; and, finally, a concluding chapter which assesses the impact of developments since the year 2000 as well as future challenges and prospects.

Although collective bargaining is an integral part of the European social model, it does not rest easy with the terms of the dominant political and economic discourse. Advocates of the neoliberal policy agenda view collective bargaining and trade unions as ‘rigidities’ in the labour market that restrict economic growth and impair entrepreneurship. Declaring their intention to achieve greater labour market flexibility and improve competitiveness, policy-makers at national and European level have sought to decentralise collective bargaining arrangements in order to limit the regulatory capacity of collective bargaining.

Clearly, collective bargaining systems are under pressure. This book documents how the institutions of collective bargaining have been removed, fundamentally altered or markedly narrowed in scope in all 28 EU Member States. But there are also positive examples to be found: some collective bargaining systems have proven more resilient than others in maintaining multi-employer bargaining arrangements.

Based on the evidence presented in the country-focussed chapters, the key policy issue addressed in this book is how the reduction of the importance of collective bargaining as a tool to jointly regulate the employment relationship can be reversed. The struggle to fend off the neoliberal assault on collective bargaining in Europe is moving towards an endgame. The outcome is still open.
Effective start/end date2016/03/012019/06/30

Collaborative partners

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences