In many European countries collective labour agreements play a crucial role in organising industrial relations. A research of the European Industrial Relations Observatory (“EIRO”) established that in the year 2002 more than 70% of the employees within the member states of the European Union (“Member States”) at that time, excluding Greece, were, on average, covered by a collective labour agreement.1 These collective labour agreements are all concluded regionally or nationally and are therefore limited by the rules and the jurisdiction of the country to which they apply. Clearly, as the integration of the Member States develops further and as globalisation is a fact nowadays, labour relations are becoming more and more international. As is, or at least should be, (collective) labour law.2 Social partners, the key figures in collective labour law, could take advantage of the international opportunities presented to them. They could, for instance, enter into transnational collective labour agreements that apply within the entire European Union (“EU”) or within a number of Member States. This brings us to this thesis’ research subject: transnational collective labour agreements having force in the EU. Two preliminary questions will be answered before moving on towards the main matter of this research.

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C.J. Loonstra (Cees)
Erasmus University Rotterdam , Boom Uitgevers, Den Haag
De Bakelsreeks
Erasmus School of Law

Even, Z. (2008, November 6). Transnational Collective Bargaining in Europe. De Bakelsreeks. Retrieved from