European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Foresight unit

In 2016, the European Trade Union Institute set up the 'Foresight Unit' to study the long-term challenges facing the European trade union movement and their implications for the work of the institute.

Foresight Brief

The ETUI’s Foresight Brief features articles intended for a wide audience within the European trade union movement, including social actors and NGOs, as well as think tanks and European decision-makers. The themes of this publication are linked to the Foresight Unit’s priority areas of work: climate change and new technologies.

Latest issues

#7 Should digital labour platforms be treated as private employment agencies?

Valerio De Stefano and Mathias Wouters

This Foresight Brief examines whether digital labour platforms should be treated as private employment agencies. Platforms like LinkedIn may rightfully be perceived by the general public to be mere social networks,  but underneath their sleek design, they also act as an employment service. This brief specifically focused on one of the central principles of international labour standards on employment services, namely that jobseekers must not be charged any fees or costs for job-finding services, unless those fees or costs have been approved by a competent authority.

#6 The mirage of the end of work

Foresight brief

Gérard Valenduc and Patricia Vendramin

This Foresight Brief examines whether work has a future in the digital age. A recent wave of innovation mean machines are capable of taking over from humans an ever-wider range of tasks. Will this deprive humans of work, or force them to seek out jobs involving different tasks? Authors Gérard Valenduc and Patricia Vendramin examine various scenarios for labour markets and its impact on employment relations.

More info and download the former Foresight Briefs


Christophe Degryse on platform economy, social rights and collective bargaining (video)

8 November 2019

Christophe Degryse attended a conference on the new labour rights at the Chambre des Salariés in Luxembourg on 7 November 2019.

Six scenarios for the future of work in the digital economy

31 January 2018
Scenario 1

In January 2018 six scenarios on the future of the world of work were published. They have been elaborated by the researchers and experts who participated in the seminar of June 28, 2017, and discussed by the union leaders at the November 2017 seminar (see other news below).

Conference Sharers and Workers

23 January 2018

“Starting a European Dialogue on the Platform Economy”: it was the main aim of this conference held in Brussels on 23 January 2018. Co-organised by the ETUI, the ETUC, IRES, ASTREES and Sharers and Workers, this conference gathered more than 130 people from platform economy, trade unions, research centers in order to freely discuss new ways to work together to shape the digital economy and make it financially sustainable, technically innovative and socially responsible.

Work in the digital economy in 2030: From research to action

8 November 2017

On 8 November 2017, the Foresight Unit organized its second seminar dedicated to the future of the world of work in the digital economy, in close collaboration with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). This meeting, intended primarily for trade union leaders affiliated to the ETUC, was an opportunity to present the work done during the seminar of June 2017 (see other news).

Work in the digital economy in 2030

28 June 2017

On 20 and 21 June 2017, the ETUI Foresight Unit organised its first prospective seminar on the theme "Work in the digital economy in 2030". For two days, some twenty researchers, mainly academics but also from trade unions, from different countries of the European Union and experts in the fields of digitisation of the economy met in Brussels, at ETUI's premises, to discuss and debate possible scenarios.


    Anticipating change, staying relevant: why trade unions should do foresight


Christophe Degryse Senior Researcher - Head of the Foresight Unit


Aída Ponce Del Castillo Senior Researcher - Foresight


Gérard Valenduc Associate researcher