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Browsing by Author "Väänänen, Ronja"

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  • Väänänen, Ronja (2022)
    Labour markets have changed due to globalisation, and this is challenging the traditional way of defining the notion of worker. Currently the international labour legislative system is based on a state centred way of defining the concept of worker. Each country hence defines the scope of the term on the basis of their national social and economic conditions. These national definitions have remained as the starting point even though the labour markets have internationalised. Workers may move from a country to another, businesses reach beyond national borders and across border competition has increased. Furthermore, regional, and international instruments containing their own ways to define the notion of worker, have added layers of regulation. Globalisation has hence changed the playing ground firstly with regards to the ways of work as well as with adding new layers of regulation. As the definition of worker grants rights and obligations to persons working, it is necessary to know who is categorised as a worker. The challenges caused by globalisation in defining the notion of worker based on national needs is amplified with the rise of atypical employment. Next to the traditional employment relationship based on an employment contract new forms of employment are becoming more prominent. These new forms of working do not fit into the traditional binary distinction between the workers and the self-employed. A current example of a form of atypical employment is platform work, which is work done on, or intermediated by digital platforms. Not only national regulation, but also regional and international instruments are being challenged with the changes in the global labour markets. This thesis seeks to outline the changes globalisation has brought to the labour markets. The current way of defining the concept of worker in all national, regional, and international contexts are explained. Based on this, the concepts are compared to see how similar or different the approaches to the concept are. Challenges caused by new forms of labour to the concept are furthermore presented. On the basis of this analysis, the durability of the current system of state centred way of defining the concept of worker is contrasted to the possible future changes in the labour markets and the possibility of harmonising the notion is contemplated as a solution for the changes caused by globalisation.
  • Väänänen, Ronja (2023)
    Social policy is a policy area with close connections to citizens’ everyday life ranging from social security to questions of safety at work. Decisions regarding social policy issues are based on value choices about the redistribution of wealth. Hence, traditionally social policy has been a policy area closely connected to the national sovereignty of states and it has developed on the basis of national history and values. In the Union context, the development of competences in this policy area has been slow as European integration has taken place primarily based on the internal market integration and integration in other policy areas was expected to follow. Currently, social policy is part of Unions’ shared competences, and the Union has been granted certain powers in social policy questions in the Treaties. These competences are, however, mostly limited. Moreover, decisions in this policy area are hard to be achieved due to member states’ different views on social policy questions. Regardless of the limited Union competences, the national leeway in regulating social policy questions is narrowing. The Union social policy integration is not always taking place under the intended decision-making procedures or under the intended legal bases, but integration by stealth is taking place. This causes the creeping of competences in a form of positive integration through the back door, negative integration, soft law instruments and other forms, such as the increased usage of economic governance affecting national social policy decisions. Therefore, the EU can in an ever-increasing way be seen to be interfering with national social policy decisions and guiding the organisation of national social policies for example with economic governance. This form of integration may be inherent to the sui generis character of the Union. However, it is not completely unproblematic with regards to the legitimacy of Union action. Moreover, the creeping of competences poses a danger on the essence of social policy, which is often considered to be to help the ones in need of assistance, being overruled by economic considerations in both the European and the national level. This thesis is about analysing the durability of the current Union competences in the area of social policy. The thesis starts by delving into the character of the Union as this becomes relevant when analysing the current Union actions. Furthermore, the historic development and the current state of the social policy competences of the Union will be outlined. Based on this, the thesis includes an analysis of the Union actions in the area of social policy and on how these actions affect the member states’ leeway in social questions. The issue of competence creep and its causes are furthermore evaluated. Lastly, the question of whether the current social policy competences of the Union need a clarification is contemplated and certain alternative models are considered for the future.