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Promoting or Preventing Reforms?

Trade Unions and Social Policy Reforms in Central and Eastern Europe

Society and Economy
Author:
Menno Fenger

In the dominant perspective on trade unions, stronger trade unions are supposed to lead to higher wages and less extensive welfare reforms. This article focuses on the role of trade unions in the processes of welfare reform in Central and Eastern European countries in the last decade, and aims to assess the extent to which this role is comparable to that of trade unions in Western countries. The article analyses key characteristics of trade unions' roles and positions in Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Romania, Poland and Slovenia. These characteristics are related to the social policy reforms and wage developments in these countries, in order to analyse if the dominant perspective holds true also for Central and Eastern European countries.

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