The Aftermath of the Laval Quartet: Emancipating labour (law) from the rationality of the internal market in the field of posting

  • The Laval Quartet rulings of the CJEU have become an indispensable reference in every discussion on the social dimension of the European integration process over the past decade. Becoming a synonym for the subordination of labour rights and social goals to market freedoms, the rulings have raised different questions, the most pressing one being about the relationship between the economic and the social sphere of the EU as an emerging polity. The dissertation enquires into the question to what extent that relationship has been reconfigured in the aftermath of the Quartet rulings. Starting with the rulings themselves through a law in context approach, the dissertation studied a segment of the aftermath in the period following the rulings (2008-2019). While the aftermath has played out at various levels of EU’s multi-level governance structure, this study focuses on the supranational macro-level, examining the development of the subsequent CJEU case law and the EU-level political responses. The thesis makes the argument that due to the countermovement that the rulings have quickly triggered at EU and Member State level, a political struggle over the social in the EU has emerged, demonstrating the difficulty of conceiving of the EU as a common social space in conditions of diversity, a strong core-periphery division and governance structures dominated by market rationality. Particularly the developments in the field of posting of workers, starting with the Quartet and ending with the Revised Posted Workers Directive, reveal three important insights for the integration process more broadly. First, the existing material inequality and differences in economic development among Member States in enlarged EU, of which the Quartet was an early symptom, have buttressed the European regulatory space as a space of conflict between the core and the peripheries. Second, resolving core-periphery conflicts has distributional consequences, which are particularly visible in the context of labour and social questions. Resolving such conflicts requires an EU common conception of (social) justice, which appears particularly difficult to conceive of in the core-periphery constellation. Third, progressive social solutions mostly remain foreclosed, as in both cases, at the Court as well as in the political realm, these are mostly contested within a framework dominated by market rationality.

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Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Author(s):Vladimir Bogoeski
Advisor:Christian Joerges, Claire Kilpatrick, Mark Dawson
Referee:Christian Joerges
Hertie Collections (Serial Number):Dissertations submitted to the Hertie School (01/2021)
Publication year:2021
Publishing Institution:Hertie School
Granting Institution:Hertie School
Thesis date:2020/07/21
Number pages:381
Release Date:2021/01/18
Copies are available in the Hertie Library.
Hertie School Research:Jacques Delors Centre
Licence of document (German):Metadaten / metadata
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