European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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7 January 2016, ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, ETUI meeting room 7th floor; 12h30-14h00

Lunch debate: Wage developments and wage bargaining under the European Economic Governance

Debate with the participation of Guy Van Gyes (HIVA/KUL), Thorsten Schulten (WSI/HBS), Robert Strauss (DG Employment/EC) and Alfonso Arpaia (DG Employment/EC)

Moderator: Maria Jepsen, Director of the Research department, ETUI

At this ETUI Lunch debate the editors of the recently published book Wage bargaining under the new European Economic Governance will present their main findings and enter into discussion with two of the authors of the 2015 Labour Market and Wage Developments in Europe report published by the DG Employment of the European Commission.

The ETUI book is based on the CAWIE2 – Collectively Agreed Wages in Europe – project, conducted in 2014–2015 for the purpose of discussing and debating the currently dominant policy perspectives on collectively-bargained wage systems under the new European economic governance. The project challenges the neoliberal views on wages which have further increased in prominence within the framework of the new European economic governance, and have steered various reforms of collective bargaining rules and practices. As the crisis in Europe came to be largely interpreted as a crisis of competitiveness, wages were seen as the core adjustment variable for ‘internal devaluation’, the claim being that competitiveness could be restored through a reduction of labour costs. In this sense the findings of the European Commission report are not surprising. The figures in this report show that despite the revival in economic activity and the drop in unemployment in the course of 2014, wage growth has remained subdued.

A light lunch will be served from 12h00 in the room.

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