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Austerity policies are undermining Europeans’ health

Suicides, outbreaks of HIV infections, malaria and other diseases are becoming more common. In an article published in The Lancet on 27 March, a group of experts review the early impacts of austerity measures on health in Europe.

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Inequality and working conditions: the ‘exhaustion’ of labour

Philippe Askenazy

Growing inequality in Europe should not only be seen from the perspective of pressure on wages but also in terms of deteriorating working conditions at the workplace. Flexibility, intensification of work and loss of autonomy are key indicators of the “exhaustion” of the current productive model, according to French economist Philippe Askenazy.

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Andor offers no solace on EU HSW strategy


Is European Social Affairs Commissioner, Hungary’s Lazlo Andor, really ready to go all out to bat for a new European health and safety at work (HSW) strategy? That is what the hundred-strong audience for his speech on 27 March at an ETUI conference on HSW might well have been asking themselves.

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EU Commission report: Europe is diverging

The March edition of the EU’s Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review, published this week, has confirmed the growing economic and social gap between Member States of the European Union. This worrying trend of European divergence will be the main theme of the ETUI’s annual Benchmarking Working Europe publication to be presented in April.

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Deregulation: Commission stands firm

On 7 March, the Commission announced its plans to "ease the top 10 most burdensome EU laws for SMEs". The EU executive said it planned to do this through the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) launched in December 2012.

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“Blind austerity” undermines fundamental social rights

In a debate organized by the ETUI on 13 March 2013, representatives of the Transnational Trade Union Rights Experts’ Network (TTUR) presented their manifesto for the respect of fundamental social rights in Europe. The manifesto has been signed by more than 470 academic lawyers working in the field of social and labour law.

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Diverging Europe threatens citizens’ trust in European project

Widening economic and social gaps among EU member states, as well as among different groups and categories of citizens within society, are not only placing in jeopardy the future of Social Europe but threatening to undermine also the whole project of European integration. The post-2008 recession and debt crisis, helped along by EU leaders’ obstinate clinging to the failing remedies of fiscal austerity, have accelerated the disenchantment of millions of European citizens with the half-century-old project to build and consolidate a European Union. This is one of the most striking conclusions of the ETUI’s upcoming Benchmarking Working Europe report for 2013.

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Trade unions and biodiversity: jobs versus nature?

The ETUI’s Education Department held a biodiversity seminar in Brussels from 25 to 27 March. The aim was to consider biodiversity within the broader setting of sustainable development: the conservation, preservation and management of biodiversity, including new forms of employment.

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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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