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The right to human dignity: ultimate
limit to social competition and the
market freedoms
Symposium 20&21 November 2014
From social competition to social dumping. The worker’s
right to human dignity at stake
University of Antwerp
Ferran Camas Roda
Full Professor of Labour and Social Security Law and Director of
the Chair of Immigration, Rights and Citizenship at the University
of Girona
1
Key points in the presentation given
by Dr. Ferran Camas Roda.
1. References to human dignity in the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union
2. Dignity in European Union Treaties and the legislation on
derived thereof
3. The need to incorporate dignity as an integrated,
transversal assumption in Labour Law in the exercise of
fundamental rights and Community freedoms.
2
a) By establishing the foundations of the Union as set out
in the Charter on the indivisible universal value of
human dignity, they govern the actions of the Union.
b) All the labour rights in the Charter come under the
heading of “Solidarity”: the naming of the principle of
solidarity in Title IV implies assigning a social nature to
the rights it contains.
1. References to human dignity in the Charter of
Fundamental Rights of the European Union
3
-In the exercise of market freedoms the need to
preserve certain goods directly related to the
integrity and health of persons and workers has not
been ignored
-Dignity becomes an objective condition for the
right of freedom of movement of workers to be
exercised
2. Dignity in European Union Treaties and the legislation on
derived thereof
4
3. The need to incorporate dignity as an integrated, transversal
assumption in Labour Law in the exercise of fundamental rights and
Community freedoms
-Dignity has converted labour rights into human rights in the
workplace
-The right to work, which has been the object of a
constitutionalization process in the Member States of the
European Union, obliges the public authorities and, in
particular, the legislator to pass laws and promote political
action aimed at facilitating the creation of not just any work,
but in the words of the ILO, of “decent” or dignified work
A) The effects of dignity in relation to work.
5
-Labour Law has been held responsible for the economic
crisis, although this is not the case
-The most obvious result of the reform process is that
employment has lost its basic function of guaranteeing a
decent existence
-Precarious working conditions together with the fact that
work cannot possibly guarantee a decent existence violate
the basic principle of dignity
B) A threat to Labour Law. The devaluation of work.
6
To address this situation from a legal standpoint, the
following proposals may be considered:
-To face up to “re-nacionalization” effect that underlies
labour law thinking (Casas), that the continued
existence of Labour Law in the light of its founding
principles, and the constitutional recognition of work
protection, is dependent on European Social Law, above
all on the values currently in force in its Charter and
Treaties
7
-Dignity, understood as a value from which basic rights
are derived, should be promoted as a legal concept
used to evaluate if the new regulations on basic
statutes of labour rights (contracts, dismissals,
collective agreements) can come under its “umbrella”
with a view to favouring competitiveness and business
viability
-The dignity of workers must be a dogmatic concept to
be used against the economy-oriented theories that
are reshaping Workers’ Rights.
8
-Dignity is an intrinsic part of the economic liberties
projected in the constitutional Treaties of the European
Union. These liberties should be exercised bearing in
mind this value
In fact, underpinning these questions is the dignity that
the workers themselves have, not only as a subject of
these liberties but also on exercising them. The freedom
of movement of goods and capital is not an aim in itself,
but its true worth is the way in which it is actually used;
to improve the workers’ lot (Supiot)
9
Thank you very much
Ferran Camas Roda
e-mail: fernando.camas@udg.edu
10

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The right to human dignity: ultimate limit to social competition and the market freedoms

  • 1. The right to human dignity: ultimate limit to social competition and the market freedoms Symposium 20&21 November 2014 From social competition to social dumping. The worker’s right to human dignity at stake University of Antwerp Ferran Camas Roda Full Professor of Labour and Social Security Law and Director of the Chair of Immigration, Rights and Citizenship at the University of Girona 1
  • 2. Key points in the presentation given by Dr. Ferran Camas Roda. 1. References to human dignity in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 2. Dignity in European Union Treaties and the legislation on derived thereof 3. The need to incorporate dignity as an integrated, transversal assumption in Labour Law in the exercise of fundamental rights and Community freedoms. 2
  • 3. a) By establishing the foundations of the Union as set out in the Charter on the indivisible universal value of human dignity, they govern the actions of the Union. b) All the labour rights in the Charter come under the heading of “Solidarity”: the naming of the principle of solidarity in Title IV implies assigning a social nature to the rights it contains. 1. References to human dignity in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 3
  • 4. -In the exercise of market freedoms the need to preserve certain goods directly related to the integrity and health of persons and workers has not been ignored -Dignity becomes an objective condition for the right of freedom of movement of workers to be exercised 2. Dignity in European Union Treaties and the legislation on derived thereof 4
  • 5. 3. The need to incorporate dignity as an integrated, transversal assumption in Labour Law in the exercise of fundamental rights and Community freedoms -Dignity has converted labour rights into human rights in the workplace -The right to work, which has been the object of a constitutionalization process in the Member States of the European Union, obliges the public authorities and, in particular, the legislator to pass laws and promote political action aimed at facilitating the creation of not just any work, but in the words of the ILO, of “decent” or dignified work A) The effects of dignity in relation to work. 5
  • 6. -Labour Law has been held responsible for the economic crisis, although this is not the case -The most obvious result of the reform process is that employment has lost its basic function of guaranteeing a decent existence -Precarious working conditions together with the fact that work cannot possibly guarantee a decent existence violate the basic principle of dignity B) A threat to Labour Law. The devaluation of work. 6
  • 7. To address this situation from a legal standpoint, the following proposals may be considered: -To face up to “re-nacionalization” effect that underlies labour law thinking (Casas), that the continued existence of Labour Law in the light of its founding principles, and the constitutional recognition of work protection, is dependent on European Social Law, above all on the values currently in force in its Charter and Treaties 7
  • 8. -Dignity, understood as a value from which basic rights are derived, should be promoted as a legal concept used to evaluate if the new regulations on basic statutes of labour rights (contracts, dismissals, collective agreements) can come under its “umbrella” with a view to favouring competitiveness and business viability -The dignity of workers must be a dogmatic concept to be used against the economy-oriented theories that are reshaping Workers’ Rights. 8
  • 9. -Dignity is an intrinsic part of the economic liberties projected in the constitutional Treaties of the European Union. These liberties should be exercised bearing in mind this value In fact, underpinning these questions is the dignity that the workers themselves have, not only as a subject of these liberties but also on exercising them. The freedom of movement of goods and capital is not an aim in itself, but its true worth is the way in which it is actually used; to improve the workers’ lot (Supiot) 9
  • 10. Thank you very much Ferran Camas Roda e-mail: fernando.camas@udg.edu 10