Assessing the Effectiveness of the European Social Charter: A Case Study on Dismissal Reforms

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. The Charter’s perspective on the right to protection in cases of termination of employment. – II.1. The scope and significance of art. 24 RevESC. – II.2. The interpretive approach of the European Committee of Social Rights. – III. The impact of the Charter on Italian and French courts’ dismissal decisions. – III.1. The stance of the Italian Constitutional Court: Judgment n. 194/2018 in perspective. – III.2. The assertive stance of French labour courts. – IV. The impact of the Charter’s perspective on the Greek law of dismissals. – V. Concluding remarks.

Abstract: In the aftermath of the Eurozone crisis, several states in Europe carried out structural reforms targeting existing laws on dismissals, thus weakening employee protection. In that context, the Revised European Social Charter, as interpreted by the European Committee of Social Rights, established itself as a reliable legal instrument protecting employees against certain types of unfair (unjustified) dismissal in Europe. This Article follows a case study design to undertake a comparative examination of the impact of the Revised Charter’s perspective vis-à-vis unfair dismissals in some European jurisdictions (Italy, France, and Greece), with a particular focus on the reasoning of their domestic courts in recent relevant decisions. In light of the findings, it provides a discussion of the Charter’s renewed potential to advance economic and social rights, especially the right to protection in cases of termination of employment, across domestic jurisdictions in Europe.

Keywords: economic and social rights – unfair dismissals – art. 24 Revised European Social Charter – European Committee of Social Rights – collective complaints procedure – domestic courts.

European Papers, Vol. 7, 2022, No 3, pp. 1569-1592
2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/628

* Former PhD Researcher, Maastricht University,


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