European Trade Union Confederation at the Crossroad: New Challenges and New Roles

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Urszula Kurczewska


The paper discusses the role of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in political processes at the European Union (EU) level. The author presents historical development of the ETUC and its present structure. A detailed account on the evolution in the strategy of the ETUC, shifting from the 'logic of membership' (as an umbrella organisation for only a part of the labour movement across Europe) to the 'logic of influence' (as a powerful actor with monopoly in the interest representation of labour building its capacity to impact decision-making mechanism at the EU level) is delivered. The strategic change has not been a smooth process, as it entails structural adjustments and contributes to identity crisis within the ETUC. The author claims that currently the ETUC attempts to reconcile those two contradicting logics by combining strategy of effective interest representation with the strategy of mass social mobilisation.

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How to Cite
Kurczewska, U. (2013). European Trade Union Confederation at the Crossroad: New Challenges and New Roles. Warsaw Forum of Economic Sociology, 4(8), 76-93. Retrieved from


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