The article investigates the role and functions of bilateral institutions created by collective
bargaining in the light of recent legislative reforms and projects outlined by the government. Experience
demonstrates that bilateral institutions are effective when the law simply strengthens their role
in delivering services and utilities they already provide; by contrast, when the law try to force them to
play new roles, the outcome is unsatisfactory. The author is also critical of the recent tendency of the
legislator to give preponderance to plant level collective agreements (sect. 8, law decree n. 138/2011):
this can seriously jeopardise the action of bilateral institutions, which are mostly established by
nationwide collective agreements, and is inconsistent with the governmental goal of attributing more
and more welfare tasks to those organisms.
Key words: bilateral institutions; collective bargaining; plant level collective agreements; sect. 8, law
decree n. 138/2011.