Industrial Relations and Institutional Changes in Sweden: a Response to European Integration
Many observers have identified Europeanization as undermining the foundation of national systems of capitalisms. This paper addresses a national level response. The approach taken assesses the positions (for change) by actors within the Swedish Model toward the 'Laval' European Court of Justice ruling (C-341/05). Through the analysis of position documents and semi-structured interviews with representatives from the social partners, this paper identifies key pressures within the Swedish labour market model in response to the Court ruling. The extension model (autonomous collective agreement model) proved to be the preferred option for the Swedish partners. Concurrently, this model results in the least amount of change to Swedish industrial relations. While a substantial degree of support was identified for 'change', specifically the legislated minimum wage option, institutional structures were identified that restricted such positions from reaching official channels of influence. This case provides evidence of institutional continuity and is an example of national industrial relations proving robust against the forces of European integration.