Representativity, Civil Society, and the EU Social Dialogue: Lessons from the International Labor Organization

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This article addresses the representativity questions that arise from the formal insertion of private, functional groups within the European Union (EU) governance, via the EU social dialogue. It depicts the debate regarding the "representation gap" of the EU social dialogue, and its implications on the regulatory autonomy of the social partners, and suggests that important lessons can be learned through the examination of another institutional context in which similar questions have been raised and addressed: the International Labor Organization (ILO) tripartite structure. In addition, it ascertains that the issue of representativity of the EU social partners would further benefit from viewing it in the broader context of the EU "democratic deficit." The article concludes that such an analysis underscores the need to rethink the current understanding of representativity in the EU social dialogue. In particular, it considers the benefits and disadvantages of expanding the notion of representativity to encompass the internal structural mechanisms of the EU social partners.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalIndiana Journal of Global Legal Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2009


  • Labor
  • Wworkers' Representativity
  • EU soical policy
  • EU democratic deficit
  • EU Social dialogue
  • Civil society groups
  • Freedom of Associaiton
  • International Labor Organization


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