Labour interests have been heavily influenced by economic change, and the increasing internationalization of capital has posed considerable challenges to nationally based labour movements. In western Europe, labour markets have been transformed by neo-liberal tendencies, leading to a general decline in the influence of organized labour, and the establishment of a European labour market underpinned by qualified free market principles. The corresponding discourse in EU policymaking presents a difficult tide for labour interests to contend with, and EU powers in the labour market field have boundaries prescribed by the treaty. EU social partnership with employer organizations has delivered limited results (Chapter 2). Landmark rulings of the European Court of Justice have placed qualifications on the rights to strike contained in the Charter of Fundamental Social Rights, and upon the scope of protection for domestic workers under conditions of free movement of labour.
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