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research projects or facts and figures relevant to policy debates. Also included are blog articles, regular articleson working life in Europe, presentations, working papers providing background material to ongoing or already concluded research, and reports arising from ad hoc requests by policymakers. Other corporate publications include annual reports, brochures and promotional publications. Web databases and online resources such as data visualisation applications are available in Data and resources.
This background paper will first briefly outline the current social and economic situation in Europe. It will then provide the essential case for Economic and Monetary Union and the dilemma it poses for the wider economic governance of relevance for what we know as Social Europe. This dilemma is essentially about the concept of political sovereignty in the context of the international economy – in terms of the European Union, but more fundamentally in the age of globalisation. It goes on to indicate what further economic and political integration may be required to maintain the euro. It then briefly suggests the implications of the global competitive challenges and the requirements of economic governance in Europe for the ‘European Social Model’ as an introduction to the subject matter of the Foundation Forum 2013, namely social and employment policies for a fair and competitive Europe.
This report focuses on the main issues and trends in collective agreements
recorded in the Working Conditions Information System survey since 1993. It
shows a decreasing emphasis on wage bargaining, especially in the context of
the global economic slowdown, and a shift towards other issues such as trade
union operation, the provision of information to and consultation with
unions, severance pay and employee participation. There has been an
increasing number of collective agreements establishing obligatory employer
contributions to employees’ pension schemes, and more agreements addressing
such issues as fair treatment in the workplace and parental leave.
This paper looks at wages from two different angles: from the perspective of individual employees, discussed in conjunction with their working conditions, and from the perspective of the industrial relations system. After a brief overview of EU-level policy developments with a potential impact on national level pay determination, this report gives a comparative overview of the levels of collective wage setting and how they are set throughout Europe and goes on to report on reforms, changes or debates linked to these processes between the different actors at both the Member State and the European level in 2011 and 2012. See related publications on wages.
The EU-level sectoral social partners in the hairdressing sector – Coiffure
EU  for employers and UNI Europa Hair and Beauty  for trade unions –
signed an agreement on health and safety in their sector in April 2012
(EU1205031I ). The agreement covers issues such as the use of chemicals
and irritating substances, ergonomics and working time, and will be
implemented by a European directive to become binding in Member States. It
reinforces protection for pregnant women and calls on suppliers to research
ways of producing less harmful products.
The European Commission is calling on all Member States to address the
problem of youth unemployment, which it says is costing the region billions
of euros. On 5 December 2012, the Commission presented a package of measures
in its initiative on a Youth Guarantee and a Quality Framework for
Traineeships. It wants Member States to ensure all young people are offered
work and training.
According to recent statistics (in Swedish) , 62,000 Swedish workers lost
their jobs in a surge of redundancies during 2012. While the situation is
difficult, the number of redundancies has yet to reach the high levels
experienced in 2008–2009. However, recent forecasts issued in a press
release (in Swedish)  from the Public Employment Service
(Arbetsförmedlingen ) are that the labour market cannot be expected to
recover in the near future.
The Slovakian government has been working for a number of years to combat the
number of people involved in undeclared work .
Employers and trade unions have been locked in negotiations for more than a
year over revision of the EU Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC ). The
EU-level cross-sector social partners representing the employers were
BusinessEurope , the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized
Enterprises (UEAPME ) and the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises
Providing Public Services (CEEP ). Trade unions were represented by the
European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC ), and negotiations began on 14
November 2011 (*EU1111051I* ).
The Pact on Apprenticeships was initially set up in 2004 to create more
vocational training positions for young people (*DE0407105F* ).