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The main legal and practical consequence of the ruling is that Social Partners will not know what rules now apply if they jointly request the Commission to put forward their Agreements to the Council for adoption in the form of a Directive. The status of the existing Commission Communications which set out “the rules of the game for the European Social Dialogue” (1993, 1996; 1998, 2002 and 2004) also remains uncertain as the Court did not comment on this other than to say that the rules and expectations created by those Communications are not "unequivocal”. Furthermore - by establishing that the judicial review of the Commission’s decisions regarding what can be proposed as a Directive must be limited due to the complex nature of the Commission’s assessments, the divergent interests, and the political, economic and social considerations that govern policy choices - the judgment raises questions as to where the balance of interests lies between workers/social considerations vis-à-vis political and economic interests.


For more information on the judgement, please visit the case law section of the ETUCLEX website here.