European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Labour lawyers’ manifesto urges EU leaders to respect fundamental social rights

The Euro-area crisis and the austerity policies prescribed by European institutions have led, in many EU countries, to systematic attacks on social dialogue and labour law provisions. More than 530 social and labour lawyers – nearly all with an academic affiliation – have signed a manifesto in protest at these developments. In the body of this document, signatories urge the European Union to respect and promote fundamental social rights, particularly in the context of crisis-related policy measures.

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Trade unions in south-east Europe: on the verge of marginalization?

The new 2012-3 issue of SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe gathers articles which are edited versions of papers delivered at a Belgrade conference devoted to the topic ‘Trade unions and politics in south-east Europe’.

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Commission remains prisoner of failing austerity policies

Last week the European Commission presented its latest economic forecasts for 2013 and, despite the disappointing figures, continued to insist on the need for tough austerity measures. A few days earlier it had also adopted a communication on social investment.

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Five Directives to be amended: but will workers be safer from chemical risks?

On 26 February the European Commission announced plans to put to Parliament and the Council a proposal to amend five health and safety at work Directives.

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EU labour markets in crisis: a feeble light at the end of the tunnel?

commissioner Andor

Speaking at the ETUI’s recent conference on European labour markets and the crisis, EU employment and social affairs commissioner Laszlo Andor made a point of stressing that labour market policy should, in his own view, be a source of economic recovery and not a “Cinderella” in the Commission’s response to the crisis. His attentive but critical audience was, however, less optimistic about the long-term prospects for a more social approach to the new EU economic governance.

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Tony Atkinson paints complex picture of inequality

Public authorities should learn from previous historical periods when the gap between rich and poor was kept in check. This was the main messages of Professor Tony Atkinson when addressing the second conference of the cycle ‘The crisis and inequality’ organised by the ETUI on 25 January 2013.

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REACH obligations: trade unions again help to raise awareness in companies

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the industriAll-European Trade Union are launching another extensive information campaign aimed at companies that market or use chemicals. The objective is to call European firms’ attention, especially SMEs, to their obligations under REACH, the EU regulation on chemicals.

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EU finance ministers open door for financial transaction tax

Commissioner Semeta

During the first Ecofin Council meeting of the new year, a qualified majority of EU finance ministers allowed 11 countries (Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia) to move ahead with plans to impose a tax on financial transactions such as stocks, bonds and derivatives.

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New ILO report urges policy rethink in order to overcome renewed jobs dip

In a special 2013 edition of the Global Employment Trends report the ILO warns that global unemployment could, after having risen to 197 million in 2012, increase still further in 2013. One quarter of the 4-million increase in global unemployment seen in 2012 has taken place in the advanced economies.

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MEPs push Commission to take action for responsible restructurings

The European Parliament adopted on 15 January a report which urges the EU Commission to propose legislation on socially responsible restructurings in companies. The report written by Spanish MEP Alejandro Cercas (S&D Group) calls for a European framework applying to major restructurings of enterprises and groups of enterprises (private and public) that affect a large number of workers or a large percentage of personnel over a limited period of time.

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