Collective bargaining in Europe in the 21st century
Collective bargaining systems, frameworks and practices in the EU have come under some pressure in recent years. Against a steady, long-term decline in the numbers of companies and workers covered by a collective agreement, employer organizations and some politicians and experts argue that the collective bargaining system is too static and inflexible. They insist that companies need more room for maneuver to adapt, specify and also deviate from higher-level agreements to respond better to accelerated global competition. This pressure has increased since the 2008 crisis, when a number of EU Member States, in response to high unemployment rates, implemented labor reforms aimed at increasing competitiveness, productivity and job creation.