Institute for Social Private Law
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Regulating Markets and Labour - Nordic, European and Global Perspectives (ReMarkLab)

Programme summary

Today, globalisation is the major driving force for change of labour law, industrial relations and labour markets. This globalisation consists of two closely interlinked processes. The first is the globalisation of the economy. The other is the internationalisation of law itself. Today, the actual content of labour law at national level is decided through a complex interplay between different actors (legislators, courts, social partners, multinational companies etc.) at different levels (national, regional and global). Further, the internationalisation of both economic law and labour law entails a struggle between the aspirations of both fields of law in re- or deregulated markets and labour respectively.

The aim of ReMarkLab is to provide strategic knowledge concerning this multi-level governance, which is of crucial importance for the understanding of the development and for providing decision-makers at national or international level with a solid base for rational policy choices.

The research shall be of high international quality and relevance and integrate topical questions such as the national implementation of the Temporary Work Agency Directive or analysis of the effect of the Rome I-Regulation on applicable law for collective agreements and employment contracts. The preparedness to take on such issues is facilitated by the broad competence of the research group as well as the groups’ extensive networks.

Another important aim for the programme is to stimulate cooperation and exchange of ideas between researchers, the social partners, governmental institutions and other interested parties. The programme is active in promoting cooperation and networks between Nordic, European and US researchers in the field.

During the first years the research group will be engaged in the following core projects, which focus on certain aspects of the relationship between markets and labour in a global or crossborder perspective, but have an emphasis on European (EU) law:

1.Industrial Action in an International Economy
As a consequense of a globalised economy many industrial actions will have international implications. The project aims to clarify the legal possibilities and limitations imposed on the right to take industrial action with such implications. Focus is on the Nordic countries, but the project has a wide scope and comprises an analysis of the international regulation of industrial action within the ILO, the Council of Europe, the EU as well as several European countries.
2.Free movement, labour market regulation and multilevel governance in the enlarged EU/EEA (in cooperation with Oslo University)
This project focuses on the Posted Workers Directive and the Services Directive and interconnecting issues and processes, and aims at attaining, by way of comparative and interdisciplinary approaches, deepened understanding of how interacting political, legal, socio-institutional and economic logics are influencing the interplay between the different institutions and organised actors, shaping supra-national decision-making and national adjustments in the emerging multilayered European polity, with particular regard to the formation, adaptation, and application of legal regimes in the labour market. The project also will analyse European regulation and its development in the field.
3.European Labour Market Agreements – A Legal Study of the Agreements of the Social Partners in Europe
During the last 20 years the social partners at European level have greatly increased their impact on the regulation of the labour market. They now participate in the EU legislative process through the social dialogue according to articles 154-156 TFEU. The agreements concluded at a European level will become an important part of the regulation of the labour market. The research project includes a survey of which agreements that exist at European level and how these have emerged, and an analysis of the social dialogue and the legal questions it creates. The main part of the project will concern the legal definition of the European agreements. These will be analysed from a national perspective as well as in a European law context.
4.Flexicurity - a study of Swedish employment regulation in a comparative perspective
Flexicurity (flexibility and security) is a central concept in the EC labour law discourse. Flexicurity entails flexible and reliable contractual arrangements, comprehensive lifelong learning strategies, effective labour market policies and modern social security systems. The general aim of this project is a legal study of the employment regulation’s development and content in light of the EC law discourse on flexicurity. Employment protection and flexible employments are in focus. Central concepts are employability and equal treatment. The Swedish legal development is compared to the Danish, Dutch and English development. The project encompasses aspects concerning the design and content of employment protection regulation, employment protection and employability within collective agreements and industrial relations systems and the content of the employment contract and a right to education and competence development.
5.General Principles of Social Security Law
GPSoc is an international research project which aims at comparative studies of four general principles in social security law, namely security, solidarity, self-responsibility and protection. The first phase is dedicated to the principle of security. The project is coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law (Munich) and the Research Unit Europe and Social Security (K.U. Leuven). Thomas Erhag is responsible for the country reports concerning Sweden.


From 2011 and onwards the programme will initiate further research on a global level. The link between social security and labour law will be in focus during the whole period.

An important aim of the programme is to contribute to exchange of knowledge to national actors about the international devopments, as well as to provide knowledge to international actors about Nordic labour law and industrial relations. This dissemination of knowledge is done through publication in academic journals, the newsletter “EU & arbetsrätt”, the web portal “Labour Law portal” and open seminars.

The research program is based at the Institute of Social Private Law, Faculty of Law, Stockholm University and is financed by FAS- Swedish Council for working life and social research.

The research group consists of:

Kerstin Ahlberg

Niklas Bruun

Filip Dorssemont

Thomas Erhag

Jonas Malmberg

César Rosado Marzán

Mia Rönnmar

Silvana Sciarra

Ulrich Mückenberger