Social Market Economy and Economic Democracy: the Trade Union's Role

AuthorLorenzo Caselli
PositionUniversity of Genoa, Italy
The EuroAtlantic Union Review, Vol. 1 No. 1/2014
Social Market Economy and Economic Democracy:
The Trade Unions Role
Lorenzo Caselli*
Abstract. The paper discusses the role that the trade union can play in the construction of the new
European Social Market Economy, widening the frontiers of democracy. In the current situation
of “social dismantling”, it is necessary in fact to increase the number of the protagonists of the
political, economic, and social life, emphasising the principle of the common good and its cultural
values. In this framework, according to the Author, the trade union must take full responsibility
for directing, controlling and managing economic and social choices, shifting from the “culture of
consequences” to the “culture of project”, in order to contribute to a good, or at least decent, life
expectancy for everybody.
Keywords: Trade Union; Social Market Economy; Democracy
Between social market economy and trade union it is possible to activate a
virtuous circularity. In order to achieve this, the trade union needs to be, in a
way, plural and its action should also be directed to the institutional sphere; in
other words, it should be in a position to contribute to the regulation of the
main macro variables on which the stability and development of the economic
system depend, but at the same time it should preserve its social rootedness and
founding values. A trade union that pays attention to workers’ conditions of life,
protects their specic collective interests and considers the supply of services as
* University of Genoa, Italy

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