The market globalization processes have caused a profound alteration of the mechanisms of integration between law and collective bargaining. In almost all European countries a more flexible regulation of labor relations was introduced by recognizing to the negotiating source increasingly wide margins of derogation from the legal provisions. In the last decade, under the pressure of the economic crisis and the rules imposed by the new macro-economic governance, the European institutions have become promoters of a heavy and systematic attack on coordinated systems of collective bargaining, putting as a condition of financial aid to the states at risk of default the dismantling of centralized bargaining systems, the reduction of the extension mechanisms of collective agreements, the block of collective bargaining in public sectors. The tendency to withdraw the legislative support for industry-wide or multi-employer agreements, who had previously characterized the European countries, however, is counteracted by opposing signals in some countries, such as the introduction of the statutory minimum wage in Germany, through extension procedures of collective agreements in highly fragmented industries with low wages.
Keywords: Law; Collective Bargaining; Multi-employer bargaining; Derogability; Extension of Collective Agreements; Austerity Measures; European Union; Wage Settlement; Minimum Wage.