Labour interests throughout Europe have been heavily influenced by economic change. The increasing internationalisation of capital has posed considerable challenges to nationally based labour movements. In western Europe, labour markets have been transformed since oil price rises sent economies into free fall in the mid-1970s. These changes have led to a decline in the influence of organised labour. To a certain extent, the EU has until recently been part of the problem, although since the development of the social dialogue, and the TEU in particular, the EU level represents significant opportunities for labour interests.
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