The (Constitutional) Court of Justice of the European Union and the right of collective bargaining Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes, Part II

AutoreFilip Dorssemont
The (Constitutional) Court of Justice of the European
Union and the right of collective bargaining Timeo
Danaos et dona ferentes, Part II
F D
1. Constitutional Justice and industrial relations after the Charter of Nice.
In 1988, the Department for employment and industrial relations of Bari Uni-
versity organized a Colloquy on Constitutional Justice and Industrial relations.
The keynote contribution of Bruno Veneziani focuses on the case law in the
eld of industrial relations of the Italian Constitutional Court over a period of
more than thirty years (V, 1990). The author reects upon this body of
case law from various perspectives. He elaborates on the role the Court played
throughout various judicial techniques ranging from the interpretation of statutes
to declaring some statutory provisions unconstitutional. Veneziani also describes
in a more substantive way how the Court sought to balance conicting consti-
tutional values. Last but not least, the contribution adopts a political sciences
perspective, delineating how the Court constitutionalized the role of social part-
ners and undertakings in a pluralist and multi-layered democracy. The judicial
activism of the Italian Constitutional Court often confronted with a legislative
deadlock has been benecial to the development of an efcient system of indus-
trial relations promoting equality and social justice. The attitude of the Court is
being saluted as pragmatic and in touch with the present day reality (razionalità
The proclamation of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights
(2000) did create a momentum to alter the economic constitution of the European
Union. Due to the adoption of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
(2004), the Charter was indeed formally integrated into primary EU law. Thus,
an additional layer of fundamental rights did complement the older constitu-
tionalization of fundamental (economic) freedoms. The question remains to be
answered to what extent the Constitutional Treaty would have claried the pre-
cise relation between “social” and “economic” objectives of the Union. In our
view, the Treaty establishing a Constitution indeed provided an unambiguous
answer. Fundamental (economic) freedoms were relegated to Title I. They were
relevant to dene the “objectives” of the European Union. Fundamental Rights
were at the heart of Title II. Thus, they were rightly considered as an issue of
citizenship. It is of the essence of human rights to protect citizens against the
objectives of a political organization. In sum, there was a strong case in favour of

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