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Trade union channels for influencing European Union policies

Conference contribution
Authors Bengt Larsson
Published in 31st International Labour Process Conference, ILPC2013, Rutgers University, New Brunswick 18-20/3 2013
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Language en
Keywords Industrial relations; Trade unions; Cooperation; Lobbying; EU policies
Subject categories Sociology


This paper analyses the channels that European national trade unions use when trying to influence European Union (EU) policies. It compares and contrasts trade unions in different industrial relations regimes regarding the degree to which they cooperate with different actors to influence EU policies, while also touching upon the importance of sector differences and organisation resources. The study is based on survey data collected in 2010–11 from unions affiliated with the European Trade Union Confederation as well as from below-peak unions in 14 European countries. Results of the survey show that the “national route” is generally the most important for trade union in influencing EU-policies, in the sense that this channel is, on average, used to the highest degree. In addition, the survey delineates some important differences between trade unions in different industrial relations regimes regarding the balance between the national route and different access points in the “Brussels route”.

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