European Labour Law Journal vol:1 issue:1 pages:81-88
The creation of the Single European Market (SEM) and the development of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has the risk to increase the deregulatory effects of the EU social policy. This is because of the ungoverned competition between national regimes which dangers to strike the 'social' dimension of the European supra-national state - what was the original Delors' vision of 'l'espace sociale'. The article argues that by covering both by nature the social and economic regulative aspects of employment, collective bargaining plays a central and strategic role in containing the 'democratic deficit' effects originated by the process of European integration. Therefore, the developments in coordinating bargaining activities across borders, which have been made by the European union industry federation in the metal sector, as the most pronounced in this regard in Europe, are examined and further assessed. As the conclusion of framework agreements at the EU level in the metal sector illustrates, the perspective for the coordination of collective bargaining in Europe appears advanced but it also presents some institutional and policy coordination weaknesses.