‘Let’s get to Work! The Future of Labour in Europe’, Brussels, 8th September 2014

The NEUJOBS FP7 dissemination partners are happy to invite you to the launch of the book ‘Let’s get to Work! The Future of Labour in Europe’, which will take place on Monday 8th September 2014 at CEPS in Brussels.

Keynote speakers Miroslav Beblavy (CEPS), Günther Schmid (WZB Berlin) and Tom Bevers (Employment Committee) will address the most striking research findings that were brought together in the context of the NEUJOBS FP7 project. The panel, facilitated by Terry Martin (journalist & communications advisor), will engage in a discussion with the audience about the implications of the findings for the future of labour in Europe.

You can access the invitation and programme to the book launch on the NEUJOBS website. We sincerely hope you would like to join this event, and ask you to fill in the online registration form by using this link.

We look forward to meeting you on 8th September and remain at your disposal for further questions.

Miroslav Beblavy (CEPS) and Bart Vanhercke (OSE)

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Conference ‘Ageing Society in Europe and UK: Employment and Policy Challenges’, London, 15th September 2014

As part of the NEUJOBS project, the European Social Observatory (OSE, Brussels) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) are pleased to invite you to a one-day conference:

Ageing Society in Europe and UK: Employment and Policy Challenges, London, 15th September 2014; 12:00pm – 5.30pm.

This conference aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, and policy makers to discuss the consequences of ageing on employment, labour demand and supply, skills, working conditions and gender issues. It is an opportunity for European scholars and national stakeholders to meet and debate key strategies for dealing with ageing. Leading researchers from the NEUJOBS project will present their understanding of present and future challenges to European labour markets. Continue reading

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Decarbonising the EU economy: Threat to jobs or opportunity?

From today, on NEUJOBS website, you can read the latest policy brief by Iain Begg. A short interesting piece of research where findings from different domains and the results of an intense discussion with high-level policy makers come together.

Here an extract: “It is a statement of the obvious that decarbonising the EU economy will take time and will require substantial investment. However, it is clear that Europe needs higher investment, notably from the macroeconomic perspective of boosting demand, and that there will be benefits not just from rendering the economy more sustainable but also in creating economic activity and jobs. Part of the necessary investment will, as several contributors to the workshop emphasised, have to be in skills and human capital. Nevertheless, various indirect effects have to be taken into account, such as the impact on public revenues as (heavily-taxed) fossil fuels decline to be replaced by other energy sources, especially if the latter attract subsidies.

It can be easy to postpone necessary energy transformations, especially if short-term considerations dominate policy thinking. An energy transition will, unavoidably, be disruptive; but the aim should be for it to be creatively destructive (in the Schumpeterian sense of fostering innovation), rather than just negatively so. In this regard, green jobs are alluring for politicians. They offer the prospect of a narrative for energy policy that comes over as positive and caring.”

You can continue reading here.


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Benchmarking Working Europe 2014: reviewing the crisis and EU austerity policies

Nearly halfway through the Europe 2020 Strategy, an analysis of the strategies pursued and results obtained thus far is presented by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) in the 2014 edition of the ‘Benchmarking Working Europereport. The publication raises important questions such as: is the EU still suffering the consequences of the economic crisis triggered by financial crisis, or have the post-2010 austerity measures been effective in repairing the damage? If the latter is the case, how should policies be reoriented?

In 2009, after the beginning of the crisis, the EU showed some recovery through public spending intended to counter the falling activity from the private sector. After 2010, however, the EU GDP significantly diverged from the USA and the rest of the world, falling back into depression. At this point, the EU swapped its liberal spending policies for new austerity policies: a number of Member States, unable to sell bonds, became dependent on the IMF, the EU and the ECB (Troika), who imposed deficit reduction conditions (dubbed ‘internal devaluation’).

Continue reading

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What curbs economic recovery in Europe?

Last week, an article in the New York Times focused on the difficulty of economic recovery for Europe’s more ‘troubled’ economies as lending rates continue to be very high. The amount of loans that small- and medium-sized companies get granted by banks is more than 20 percent lower in Greece than in Germany for example, while interest rates on a loan for 1 million euro or less are on average are 3 percent higher in Greece and Portugal than in France and Germany. This shows the struggle that these countries have to reach higher growth levels and eventually to convergence in prosperity within the Euro Area.

It is not just high borrowing costs for current SMEs that hamper economic recovery: a lack of business starts is just as much of a concern. Many find this to be an important driver for economic growth and research by Horsewood and Dol (2014), as part of the NEUJOBS project, shows that the housing market has an important impact on new business starts. It shows that home ownership appears to discourage starting a new business. The amount of investment that is used to obtain a mortgage cannot be used towards opening new businesses and therefore this has a negative effect on new business starts. Higher levels of mortgage debt are therefore associated with lower business starts. In that sense, the slow recovery of the European housing market can be seen as a good thing for the starts of new businesses.

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Impact of the Decarbonisation of the Energy System on Employment in Europe

In this complicated paper, six CEPS colleagues (Arno Behrens, Caroline Coulie, Fabio Genoese, Monica Alessi, Julian Wieczorkiewicz and Christian Egenhofer) establish a methodology for analysing employment impacts of changes in the composition of the primary (fossil) fuel mix and the electricity mix that are projected to occur in the context of a new socio-ecological transition away from fossil fuels. The results show that decarbonisation in the context of a new SET can lead to substantial employment creation, particularly in the long term. Continue reading

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Having a job no longer a guarantee against the risk of poverty, Social Protection Committee’s Annual Report reveals

The EU’s Social Protection Committee (SPC) has recently released its Annual Report (‘Social Europe. Many ways, one objective’) on the social situation in the EU, showing how the EU is drifting away from the Europe 2020 targets.

Even if a gradual return to GDP growth is projected for 2014, labour market and social conditions remain extremely challenging and disparate across EU. Thus, there are currently 26.9 million unemployed, an increase of almost 8.4 million since 2008. Even more striking, we are facing the risk of creating a “lost generation”: 5.63 million young people (15-24 years) are unemployed and the number of young persons who are ‘Not in Education, Employment, or Training’ (NEETs) continues to increase (especially in the south and periphery of the euro area), totaling 7.5 million in EU. Continue reading

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‘Innovation and employment : cornerstones of the energy transition’ – Neujobs Conference 12 May 2014 – Paris

As part of the NEUJOBS research project, the European Social Observatory (OSE), SEURECO and the Conseil Français de l’Energie, are organising a conference on ‘Innovation and employment : cornerstones of the energy transition‘.

The conference aims to gather different views from stakeholders - researchers, practitioners, as well as policy makers – on energy transition, with specific attention to innovation and employment, as these are the main challenges linked to this transition. Check out the programme and the invitation.

In a first session, policy implementation plans will be analysed in relation to the European context. In particular, the difficult financial context as well as the need to adapt infrastructure will be mentioned and discussed. Then, the second session will address the key role of innovation during the transition, and its potential to tackle both environmental and employment issues. Thereafter, recent research will be used as input into discussions on the macroeconomic, sectoral and local-employment impact of the energy transition. The day will conclude with a round table involving key actors of the transition, who will put into perspective the ideas developed during the previous sessions.

Interpretation: English and French. Please register online.

Contact: European Social Observatory, rue Paul Emile Janson 13, BE–1050 Brussels – Phone: +322/537 19 71, Françoise Verri: verri@ose.be

Bart Vanhercke, Director, European Social Observatory (OSE)

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The political empowerment of women and quotas: one argument in favour…

In the past weeks the Italian Parliament witnessed a heated debate on gender equality. Female MPs, across different parties, proposed to create quotas for women to ensure a decent representation of females in national and local governing institutions.  The woman in me sympathises with the attempt, but the social scientist is trapped in the arguments in favour and against.  Continue reading

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Commission takes stock of ‘Europe 2020′ – EU to miss its employment, research and poverty reduction targets

The European Commission has published (5 March 2014) its Communication on ‘Taking stock of the Europe 2020 Strategy’, which effectively launches the mid-term review of the EU’s ‘growth’ strategy. According to the Commission, the crisis amplified a series of existing imbalances, leading to a growing divergence across and often within Member States: the EU can no longer be seen as a convergence machine. “This convergence process has slowed and even gone into reverse in parts of Europe as a result of the accumulation of imbalances and under the pressure of the crisis. Therefore “seeking to return to the growth ‘model’ of the previous decade would be both illusory and harmful” the report explains.

The Commission admits that progress towards the Europe 2020 targets has been mixed at best: “The EU is on course to meet or come close to its targets on education, climate change and energy but not on employment, research and development or on poverty reduction”. Indicators on employment and poverty and social exclusion indeed show a continuous and sharp deterioration since 2009 and the EU targets appear completely out of reach: by 2020, about 100 million people will be at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Against this backdrop, civil society organisations coming together in the Platform of European Social NGOs rhetorically asked “How bad does the social situation in Europe have to be in order to see a sense of urgency and action from EU leaders?”. Continue reading

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