The internal market at a social turn? Social dumping and the protection of workers

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It is the very aim of the free movement rules to ensure a better allocation of workforce, and free movement should in theory enable individuals to fight poverty at home by finding employment in another Member State. Yet, free movement can in practice lead to social dumping in specific sectors where posted workers ultimately push salaries to the bottom. Such race to the bottom might also arise outside a free movement context when workers are falsely qualified as self-employment thus undercutting wages. The article argues that EU economic law both creates risks of social dumping and remedies it. It calls for a rebalancing of the liberal ethos of the principle of free movement and competition law on the one hand, and the social objectives of the EU addressing, on the other hand. A key question is whether it is possible to redress the balance between the economic and the social from within the internal market logic or whether the social push has to come from outside.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Security
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)403-420
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2020

ID: 250114950