European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Rebuilding trade union power in the age of austerity

Portugal conference

Philippe Pochet, ETUI General Director, opened the international seminar ‘Labour Market: Trends, Power, Actors’, which took place in Lisbon on 7 June, with some challenging questions to the participants about the future of European labour relations.

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Collective bargaining developments May 2017

CB May 2017

Here are the most important developments at European and member state level from the May issue of the Collective Bargaining newsletter:

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The ETUI is launching it’s brand new online learning platform: register now!

ETUI online learning platform

The Education department is officially launching today it’s new online learning platform, where trade unionists across Europe can register and participate in online courses.

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Attempts by the French trade unions to moderate the Labour Code reforms planned by the new President

On 23 May, the new French President conducted face-to-face interviews with all of the social partners to discuss the planned Labour Code reforms which were among his key manifesto promises. During the interviews, Emmanuel Macron made it clear that his priorities were to decentralise collective negotiations to company level, to cap the compensation awarded by industrial tribunals to victims of unfair dismissal and to engage in fresh negotiations with the social partners on the eligibility criteria for ‘arduous work accounts’.

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Trade union-related researchers from across Europe come together for ninth conference


Members of the trade union-related research institutes (TURI) network met for their ninth annual conference to discuss current research agendas and to exchange views and findings. This year the conference took place at the Unison centre in London, from 17 to 19 May. Brexit was obviously an unavoidable topic, especially with the first session of the conference devoted to social dialogue in the UK and the current challenges facing British trade unions.

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EU Commission’ s country-specific recommendations: a first evaluation

On 22 May 2017, the European Commission has presented its Spring Semester Package, through which it has delivered 77 recommendations to 27 member states (except Greece which is currently under a stability support programme) versus 88 recommendations in 2016 and 102 in 2015.

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Progress report on ‘flexicurity’ in the Netherlands: the system must provide greater security

Greater labour market flexibility has been a major focus of the Dutch Government’s policy measures over the past decade or so, and flexible (i.e. temporary or freelance) workers currently account for almost one third of the Dutch working population. A progress report has now been published on this Dutch system of ‘flexicurity’.

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European Semester 2017 Spring Package: the Commission calls Members States to exploit the good economic times for further reforms

On 22 May 2017, the European Commission has unveiled its Spring Semester Package, through which it delivers specific recommendations to each country after analysing national programmes for stability and reforms presented earlier by each member state.

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German codetermination compatible with EU law, states Advocate General while calling for more inclusiveness

Court of Justice of the European Union

A national codetermination law does not breach EU laws on equal treatment or freedom of movement if it excludes workers in foreign subsidiaries from election rights to their parent company board.

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France: an alternative Labour Code to restore workers’ rights

In March 2017, a group of legal experts known as the Research Group for a Different Labour Code (GR-PACT) published an alternative proposal for a complete revision of the French Labour Code. It aims to make the law leaner and more accessible, but also to adapt it to today’s’ challenges and to preserve and strengthen certain important historical achievements.

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