This paper examines the interaction between the labour market, social standards and the European Social model on the one hand, and the freedom to provide services on the other. First, the authors analyse whether the Viking and Laval judgements define fundamental human rights as directly opposing fundamental economic freedoms in the internal market. Second, in the context of globalisation, EU enlargement, and the development of the so-called flexicurity model, they gauge to what extent the process of establishing social standards conflicts with employment strategy. The authors further concentrate on the function and legitimacy of the right to collective action in the light of the open methods of coordination. They seek to provide an answer to whether the Viking and Laval cases represent another step towards the erosion of the European Social Model.