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19 May 2014

Public roundtable event – What are the prospects for labour markets and employment in Europe?

 This roundtable event within the Network School “Flexicurity, Labour Markets and Social Dialogue” is an open public event taking place on Thursday 5 June 2014, 1830-2000 in the Irish College – Leuven

What are the prospects for employment and labour markets in Europe?

Unemployment figures continue to rise, with five million fewer people working in mid-2013 compared to the same time in 2008 and youth unemployment untenably high. Recent findings from the European Quality of Life Survey reflect a growing inability to make ends meet, accompanied by increasing feelings of social exclusion across the EU. Very importantly, the social and employment trends are diverging significantly in different parts of the EU. Especially in Southern and Eastern Europe the social situation is deteriorating as the effect of national automatic stabilisers, which played an important role in keeping up household expenditure and protecting the most vulnerable in the first phase of the crisis, becoming weaker. The situation is critical, and it is right and proper that policymakers place jobs to the forefront of their efforts to guide the European Union towards recovery. So what are the real prospects for labour markets and employment in Europe? Wherever the answer lies, as Europe strives to move out of the shadows of this recession, it is clear that it cannot afford not to explore all possible avenues which may lead creating more and good quality jobs.

Speakers on the roundtable will address the following central questions:

  • What are the real prospects for labour markets and employment in Europe?
  • How can European labour markets be socially sustainable?
  • Is reconciliation between the security and flexibility of work key to Europe’s success?
  • Is social dialogue a mechanism for seeking recovery in Europe?
  • Have social partners enough willingness to engage in social dialogue and what can social dialogue do during periods of economic and social difficulties?

Participants at the round table will be expert political leaders from the side of the Trade Union movement (ETUC) and the Employers’ organization (Business Europe) at the EU level dealing with social dialogue and labour market issues. The European Commission will participate, as both a political entity and the founding actor in establishing the Marie Curie programme, as will outstanding academics in the field of industrial relations, labour markets and flexicurity.

The host professor for this event is Valeria Pulignano. Prof. Pulignano is a researcher at the Centre for Sociological Research (CESO), and lectures Labour Sociology, Current Labour Market Changes, Comparative European Industrial Relations and Sociology Seminar at the Faculty of Social Sciences at KU Leuven.

Prof Valeria Pulignano and Prof Paul Stewart (co-moderator – panelist)
Goele Geeraert, Journalist

Tim van Rie, European Commissioner from DG Employment and Social Affair
Józef Niemiec, ETUC confederal secretary
Maxime Cerrutti, Business Europe
Monica de Coninck, Labour Minister from Belgium
Emeritus Professor Richard Hyman, London School of Economics,UK