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Europeanisation and Regime Competition: Industrial Relations and EU Enlargement

Paul Marginson
Industrielle Beziehungen, 13, 2, 97-117


Contending that regime competition and Europeanisation of industrial relations are two competing tendencies which interact, the paper elaborates on the two processes in the context of the "old" European Union of fifteen member states. The consequences of the EU's May 2004 eastern enlargement are then addressed. Simultaneously enlargement, by embracing a more diverse set of national labour market structures, wage and productivity levels, has both increased the scope for regime competition and threatened to stall the process of Europeanisation. Prospects for an augmented social dimension to accompany European economic and market integration rest on the emergence of pressure from the new member states of central and eastern Europe, as well as its renewal amongst the countries of the old EU.