RECON Report No 4



Transnational Standards of Social Protection

Contrasting European and International Governance 

Christian Joerges and Poul F. Kjaer (eds)

RECON Report No 4

ARENA Report 5/08, Oslo, October 2008


The inter-disciplinary workshop ‘Transnational Standards of Social Protection: Contrasting European and International Governance’ was jointly organised by RECON Work Package 9 and the Collaborative Research Centre 597 on ‘Transformations of the State’ at the University of Bremen.

The Report presents the proceedings of the cooperational work, which illuminates the intertwinements of European regulatory policies and global governance arrangements. By pinning down the exact nature of the interaction between these two levels, the EU’s dilemma becomes obvious: On the one hand, stronger global governance can be a chance, through which the EU can clarify its own raison d’être of increased integration to the wider world. On the other hand, the design of the European project is being challenged by more assertive global structures. This is especially the case in relation to the WTO regime, which is constraining the decisional autonomy of the EU, regarding the appropriateness of its content and its external effects. Thus, the regulation of services in the EU and the WTO are discussed in the first section of this report. Section two focuses on labour standards, which are analysed from different angles in order to clarify the functions of the WTO and the ILO, multinational companies as well as other private actors within this specific field. The final section deals with the legitimacy problematic of transnational governance.

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