European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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27 June 2017, ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, ETUI meeting room 7th floor; 12h30-15h

Book launch - Myths of employment deregulation: how it neither creates jobs nor reduces labour market segmentation

Unemployment rates in the EU rose to record levels after the economic crisis of 2008, but with substantial variations across Member States. The principal cause of the increase was the financial crisis and subsequent macroeconomic developments. However, a powerful trend in EU policymaking has been to focus on the functioning of the labour market. The dominant analysis, especially from the EU institutions, diagnosed employment regulation as a prominent cause of unemployment in Europe and as a driver of labour market segmentation. As a result, policies of labour market deregulation have been pressed on countries by the European Commission, leading to a significant weakening of employment protection in some, but not all, Member States.

This book provides detailed case studies of nine countries with rather different experiences throughout and after the crisis (Spain, Italy, Estonia, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, France, Denmark and the UK), and examines, where possible, the precise effects of recent individual changes in employment regulations on levels and forms of employment. It demonstrates that reducing employment protection has brought neither labour market nor economic benefits. Moreover, post-crisis changes were accompanied by increases in precarious employment in those countries that were the most enthusiastic in their deregulatory efforts. Thus reforms appear to have contributed to more pronounced, rather than reduced, labour market segmentation.


Chair: Philippe Pochet, ETUI

Introduction:  Agnieszka Piasna and Martin Myant, ETUI Senior researchers and editors of the book

The neverending story. Labour market deregulation and the performance of the Spanish labour market,  Rafael Muñoz-de-Bustillo, University of Salamanca

The crisis and labour market reform in Italy: a regional analysis of the Jobs Act, Marta Fana, Institut d’Études Politiques (Sciences Po) Paris

The atypical and gendered ‘employment miracle’ in Germany: a result of employment protection reforms or long-term structural changes?,  Karen Jaehrling, University of Duisburg-Essen

Discussant: Thiébaut Weber, ETUC Confederal Secretary

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