The Viking - Laval - Ruffert judgments have triggered - more than almost any other jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the EU - a debate about the balance between economic freedoms and fundamental social rights. It is expected to take a long period to establish consensus about a new equilibrium.
This book provides a positive contribution to this debate. In the light of the new situation brought about by the Lisbon Treaty - i.e. the strengthening of fundamental rights and the forthcoming EU accession to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms - the book develops and contemplates the concept of a cooperative structure of national, supranational, and international courts and actors. Country reports analyze the consequences of the Viking - Laval - Ruffert decisions on national levels with regard to legal and policy issues. Thereafter, approaches and principles aimed at protecting fundamental social rights and facilitating a process of inter-court dialogue and cooperation are developed, and suggestions for political guidelines on balancing economic freedoms and fundamental social rights are presented.
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