Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    Explaining the unequal success of the “Right2Water” and the “Fair Transport” European Citizens’ Initiative
    (University College Dublin, 2020-12) ; ;
    In this paper, we move beyond methodological nationalist frames of reference that dominate our field andinvestigate the conditions under which transnational, cross-border labour mobilization in reaction to European integration emerges and becomes successful. We build on previous research that pointed out the continued presence of transnational labour solidarity in the wake of the Eurocrisis and the EU’s New Economic Governance regime(Bieler and Erne 2014; Erne et al2015; Erne 2019;Parks 2015). Here, we compare two transnational campaigns launched by European trade union federations. The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) coordinated the first successful European Citizens’ Initiative on the Right to Water (R2W ECI) in 2012-2013. The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) followed suit in 2015 with its own initiative on “Fair Transport” but failed to collect the necessary number of signatures that is required before EU institutions will formally engage with the demands of the initiative. Both of these campaigns fell outside the scope of traditionally defined union mobilization (e.g. strikes or demonstrations). Therefore,they can be considered not only as transnational but also as innovative actions that took advantage of new instruments of direct democracy at the EU-level(Erne and Blaser 2018).
  • Publication
    The EU's New Economic Governance prescriptions for German, Irish, Italian and Romanian public transport and water services from 2009 to 2019
    (University College Dublin, 2021-09) ; ;
    After the success of the single market programme, the European Commission’s attempts to commodify public services had run out of steam by the mid-2000s. After 2008, however, a new economic governance (NEG) regime provided the Commission with a new policymaking tool and allowed a tight integration of the SMP with the enhanced rules of the economic and monetary union (EMU). Whereas the European Parliament was able to curb the Commission’s commodifying bent through legislative amendments in the 2000s, the EU’s NEG prescriptions do not require parliamentary approval. This made it more difficult for labour movements, and their allies in the European Parliament, to contest them. Our detailed analysis of the EU prescriptions on public transport and water services from 2009 to 2019 for Germany, Ireland, Italy and Romania thus shows that the shift from the EU’s ordinary legislative procedures to NEG neither made EU politics more social nor more democratic.