Labour and the Locusts - Emerging Contestation of Financial Governance and Capital Market Liberalisation in the EU
Political Science VU University Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands
Comprehensive reforms under the Financial Services Action Plan, and the concomitant shift towards new supervisory committees and regulatory networks have fundamentally changed the multi-level regulatory process of capital market liberalisation and financial services regulation. In particular transnational financial capital actors have become important nodes in the policy debate. Financial governance is still perceived as highly complex and arcane policy field, and labour as a social force on the EU level has so far at best been passively implicated in this process by adopting a "yes, but" position to the broader programme of capitalist restructuring in the EU.
Recently, however, organised labour has begun to contest the Commission´s initiatives in the field of corporate governance and alternative investment, in concert with political groupings on the left (such as PES in the European Parliament, or ATTAC in a civil society context). This paper seeks to look at this emerging contestation by mapping and analysing trade union strategies towards alternative investors and EU regulation, focusing mainly on the European arena but also taking developments in the international context into account. The underlying question is whether we can see an emerging concertation of social forces which would indeed point towards the key role of labour as a force of resistance to European capitalist restructuring.