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Title: 'But what exactly does the directive say?' : the role of EU Acquis experts in industrial relations
Other Titles: The role of EU Acquis experts in industrial relations
Authors: Baldacchino, Godfrey
Keywords: Industrial management -- Employee participation -- European Union countries
Industrial management -- Employee participation -- Law and legislation -- European Union countries
Industrial relations -- European Union countries
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: European Journal of Industrial Relations
Citation: Baldacchino, G. (2001). 'But what exactly does the directive say?' : the role of EU Acquis Experts in industrial relations. European Journal of Industrial Relations, 7(2), 137-152
Abstract: Expertise suffers booms and troughs like any other market good. The supply and demand for specialists, and the nature of the specialisms required, change in accordance with the exigencies of time and place. A particular breed of specialists is on the ascendant as a number of countries seek to confront, accept or adapt to the massive body of obligations of European Union (EU) law (referred to as the acquis communautaire) in the context of accession negotiations. In the dozen applicant states, a typically very small number of specialists in such matters is suddenly sought after as government consultants, media commentators, technical reporters and impact assessors. This article adopts a political sociology perspective in seeking to assess the influence of such technical experts on the politics of national industrial relations. It argues that such experts do somehow infect the opinions of interest groups, as well as their policy with respect to the EU in particular. Such is more likely to be the case when such interest groups suffer from a 'knowledge gap' and do not enjoy the services of professional EU specialists 'in-house'. Primary data are drawn mainly from autobiographical material; but the article attempts to propel a cross-national debate on the relevance of the experience and its analysis.
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