Le Mouvement Social, No. 3 (July–September 2018): 41–59.
The article reports a conflict in the first half of the 1970s in the French merchant navy. In the face of protests among French sailors, the government had to refrain from opening this sector to sailors from other countries of the European Community. The European Court of Justice eventually ruled against France in this matter. The case highlights the relationships between unions, workers, and immigration, and the political role of Community institutions. The study refers to the documents of the Ministry of Transport, the National Assembly, the Senate, the CGT labour union, the European Commission, the European Court of Justice, and the Council of the European Communities. It shows how widespread xenophobia was in the French merchant navy and specifies the role of the Community’s institutional framework in enforcing international agreements and keeping a European balance.