The Europeanisation of Labour Markets in Germany and the Netherlands
We systematically compare the regulatory context for a pan-European labour market between Germany and The Netherlands and its actual appropriation on the micro-level. We focus on the construction sector because in both Germany and the Netherlands it is relatively densely regulated. Based on in-depth interviews with short-term labour migrants, social partners and policy-makers complemented by participant observation and field notes we investigate the regulatory context at exemplary construction sites in the two countries. In particular we focus on certain minimum rights ensured by the EU framework of services and short-term labour mobility as well as chain liability mechanisms within Germany and the Netherlands. Our research findings suggest that there are differences in the implementation of EU policies at the national level. However, we do not see that change pressures occur within formal institutions, pushing national cases down their various paths. This does not necessarily lead to a deterioration of the working conditions, but to different forms of regulatory appropriation in different contexts. Investigating the way the regulation is appropriated at the micro-level can give insights into the loopholes created by the interplay between Europeanization, national systems and private actors.