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Title: The politics of the European social dimension : a comparative view of trade union demands in Britain and Germany
Author: Weber, Martina
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis provides an assessment of the factors influencing the politics of the European social dimension. In recent years the debate on European social legislation has often assumed centre stage on the transnational and national policy agendas of many member states. However, compared with the rapid implementation of the measures aimed at bringing about the creation of the internal market, there has been little progress in the creation of a floor of European social rights which Jacques Delors had called for in 1989. This research seeks to highlight the determining factors behind the slow progress of the European social dimension. As the member state, through their representation at the European Council/Council of Ministers remain the prime decision-making powers, this study focused on the factors shaping decision-making in two member states, Britain and Germany. These two countries are held to represent different welfare state regime types (Esping-Andersen, 1990), divergent industrial relations systems and different styles of policy making. All the above factors have been held to shape policy outcomes in the social state and would therefore lead us to expect different approaches to the EC social dimension. The study equally seeks to assess claims that "trade union failure" is partly to blame for the lack of progress in European social policy making. Different authors have stressed their failure to adapt their organisational structures to the challenges of European integration. Different views represented between national affiliates and structural weakness of the trade unions were also considered to be important factors. Britain and Germany represent very different positions within the European Communities and towards the social dimension in particular. This is to some extent conditioned by their industrial relations and welfare state systems, but this cannot fully explain why certain positions are adopted in the Council. In Germany the economic challenges arising form the world recession and German unification have led to substantial changes in social policy making.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available