Contributions to EIRO


From 2006 to 2010 I worked as a correspondent for the Information Reporting Services network of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound). These are my articles for the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO).

Debate about social dimension of Europe 2020 strategy

Published on 23 May 2010

In March 2010, the European Commission published the responses to its public consultation about a new ‘Europe 2020’ strategy as a successor to the 2000–2010 Lisbon Strategy. Among the 1,500 submissions were many critical statements by social non-governmental organisations, trade unions and centre-left parties arguing that the Commission’s draft plan did not develop the EU’s social dimension appropriately and repeated many mistakes of its predecessor strategy.

Social partners in audiovisual sector call for action against internet piracy

Published on 12 May 2010

The Audiovisual Social Dialogue Committee recently adopted a joint opinion calling for stronger protection against unauthorised file sharing of protected works and performances. This joint opinion is part of a larger debate about the enforcement of copyright on the internet – in particular, about finding a balance between the protection of authors’ rights and the individual’s right to privacy, data protection and freedom of expression.

European social partners discuss economic recovery plan for EU

Published on 23 March 2009

In the debate about the measures needed to face the current financial and economic crisis, the European social partners have expressed their views. While BusinessEurope, representing the employer side, calls for a renewal of the European social market economy, the European Trade Union Confederation proposes a ‘new green deal’ seeking ‘to end “casino capitalism” and base growth and jobs on sustainable investment, fair wages and distributive justice’.

European Parliament and Council adopt recast works council directive

Published 22 February 2009

With its adoption by the European Parliament and Council of Ministers in December 2008, the recast directive on European Works Councils may become effective in 2009. The adopted text is based on an informal agreement reached on 4 December. In addition to changes proposed by the social partners, the Parliament agreed on amendments to the definition of ‘transnational’ and the obligation of Member States to define ‘adequate, proportionate and dissuasive’ sanctions.

Social partners give advice on European Works Council ‘recast’ directive

Published 23 November 2008

In late August 2008, the European social partners submitted a joint advice on the European Works Council ‘recast’ directive to the French Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Solidarity. They accepted the Commission’s proposal as a basis for the revision of the directive and included an agreed list of possible changes to the proposal. Meanwhile, the social partners and the parliament’s rapporteur support a fast revision procedure based on this common position.

Political agreement reached on working time and temporary work directives

Published 14 October 2008

On 10 June 2008, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council reached political agreement on two controversial draft directives. The amended working time directive distinguishes between active and inactive ‘on-call’ time, and sets new rules for the opt-out from the standard maximum limit of 48 working hours a week. The temporary agency work directive is based on the principle of equal treatment as of day one for temporary agency workers.

Commission adopts proposal for improved EWC directive

Published 14 September 2008

On 2 July 2008, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a revised directive on European Works Councils (EWCs) as part of its renewed social agenda. The proposal aims to better define the competencies of EWCs, linking the national and European levels of information and consultation, and ensuring legal certainty regarding the set-up and the functioning of EWCs. Social partners have given mixed reactions to the proposal.

Commission launches new consultation on revision of EWC Directive

Published 29 April 2008

In February 2008, the European Commission invited social partners to consult on the revision of the 1994 Council Directive on European Works Councils (EWCs) – one of its legislative priorities for 2008. With this long-awaited step, the process of revising the EWCs Directive enters a new and decisive phase. The European Trade Union Confederation and other European trade unions welcomed the second-phase consultation, while BusinessEurope has opposed this step.

European partnership for anticipating change in automotive industry

Published 20 December 2007

In early November 2007, a new ‘European partnership for the anticipation of change in the automotive industry’ was formed by the European Commission, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers and the European Metalworkers’ Federation. The aims of the partnership are to monitor developments in the industry and to exchange know-how on managing restructuring in a socially responsible way.

ETUC adopts Charter on gender mainstreaming in trade unions

Published 18 November 2007

At its congress in Seville on 21–24 May 2007, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) adopted a Charter on ‘Gender mainstreaming in trade unions’. The charter is based on the findings of a survey on ‘Women in trade unions: bridging the gap’, which was published in the autumn of 2006 and presented at a conference held in Berlin in March 2007. The charter aims to enhance ETUC’s commitment to gender equality.

Social agenda of German EU presidency

Published 22 April 2007

‘Shaping Europe’s social future’ is one of the topics outlined in the government’s programme for the German EU presidency, focusing on issues such as ‘flexicurity’ and equal opportunities in the labour market. While trade unions and social non-governmental organisations have called into question Germany’s plans to promote ‘good work’ for all, the first informal meeting in January and a conference on the European social model in February aimed to facilitate a more precise understanding of what Germany hopes to achieve with regard to social and employment policy.

Eurobarometer survey on European employment and social policy

Published 20 December 2006

According to an EU survey on ‘European employment and social policy’ published by the European Commission in November 2006, a large number of European citizens have a positive view of the EU’s role in employment issues and social affairs. The report also reveals that, while a vast majority of citizens underline the importance of qualifications and regular training in enhancing job security, only 24% of people have actually taken part in some form of training over the last 12 months. The main obstacles cited by respondents are financial restrictions and difficulties in balancing work and family responsibilities.

Kategorien Europa, Industrielle Beziehungen