Do we not introduce too much employment law in labour law and social security law? Probably yes!

Bart Roels


In order to cope with the challenges of the globalisation of economy and the ageing of society, the European Union developed in March 2000 the Lisbon strategy. The objective is to become "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion."
Originally this strategy aims to integrate economic policy, employment policy and social policy on a equilateral basis.
The new European concept of flexicurity however stresses the employability of workers.
In this way labour law and social security law lose their original social function of protecting people. Social law becomes employment law, the welfare state becomes a workfare state.
This article argues that the responses to the actual challenges should rather be sought in more extensive and binding social law on the level of the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. In this way multinational companies can compete on the same level playing field without the risk of social dumping by enterprises and of a race to the bottom by the national welfare states.


Lisbon strategy; flexicurity; social dumping; race to the bottom

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789