Given the dual character of the CTC at issue, it is incumbent on the referring court to decide in principle whether this agreement was reached in favour of musicians employed by the orchestras represented by the VSR – and therefore, in principle, capable of directly improving employment or working conditions – or whether the CTC at issue should first restrict competition between self-employed workers and should therefore not fall within the scope of the albany exception. This cannot be determined in an abstract way, solely on the basis of the statements of the parties who signed the agreement, but must be determined in concrete terms. To see if this is the case, I think it may be particularly useful for the national court to consider the following two aspects. Portuguese law distinguishes three types of collective agreements according to the nature of the signatories on the employer side (Article 2, Collective Labour Relations Act): association agreements negotiated by employers` organisations; multi-employer agreements negotiated by a number of employers who, whether or not they are members of employer organizations, do not act through any association to negotiate the agreement in question; Agreements concluded at the company level by a single employer. This distinction is used by law to resolve specific conflicts between collective agreements (see also collective bargaining: level of bargaining, instruments of collective labour regulation). Another legal distinction, based on the different nature of the scope of collective agreements, is defined by horizontal and vertical agreements (see below). The role of collective bargaining systems for good labour market performance As the Dutch government has pointed out, the CTC at issue does not deal with “false independents”. Indeed, it is indisputable between the parties that these persons meet the definition of “worker” of EU law and that, as such, any collective agreement governing their position could in principle benefit from the Albany exception. A – The provisions negotiated in the name and interest of the self-employed and enshrined in a collective agreement are essentially aimed at ensuring that ALBany cases are not able to read EU treaties as a promotion of collective bargaining between social partners in order to pursue social objectives, while at the same time these collective agreements would be subject to a general ban.
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