European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Policy Briefs

ETUI policy briefs provide a short, critical and policy-oriented analysis or evaluation of topical issues which are of interest to the labour movement in Europe. They are intended for a non-specialist audience, including practitioners and trade unions at the national level as well as European-level decision-makers, think tanks and NGOs.

There are two types of policy briefs.

The ‘policy recommendations’ type: this type either develops specific policy recommendations or demonstrates why an EU policy (proposal) is undesirable in its current form. This is done through logical reasoning or presenting relevant data evidence and research, or both. The policy recommendations are summarised at the beginning of the document in the ‘Policy recommendations’ box.

The ‘key points’ type: this type either summarises recently published research or provides an overview of data which is of direct relevance to practitioners and policymakers. The main points are summarised at the beginning of the document in the ‘Key points’ box.

We welcome both comments on and proposals for policy briefs. Policy briefs should be no longer than 3,500 words, but preferably 2,500 words or less (including a maximum of 10 references).

The cost of living in the EU: how much do you need?

Brian Fabo and Martin Guzi

2019

This policy brief details the necessary amounts for dignified living according to official EU figures and the perceptions of Europeans, as well as the actual disposable income of families in the lower part of the income distribution across EU member states.
The research shows that households not being able to fulfil their needs is not just a question of their relative income but in some countries reflects the general low level of wages. There is a need for the Eastern European countries to move away from low wages as the main source of competitiveness.

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Unions are only as old as they feel: lessons on young worker engagement from the UK, France, Germany and the US

Mijin Cha, Camille Dupuy, Jane Holgate, Melanie Simms and Maite Tapia

2019

This Policy Brief discusses trade union strategies towards engaging young workers in union campaigns or organisational structures, as well as initiatives from young workers themselves directed at gaining a collective voice at work. The brief is based on a three year research project and includes a number of case studies of young worker engagement, as well as some suggestions on strategy for trade unions as they try to reach out to younger workers.

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What has the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union delivered for workers?

Filip Dorssemont, Klaus Lörcher, Stefan Clauwaert and Mélanie Schmitt

2019

This policy brief assesses the impact of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, ten years on. The Charter is intended to guide EU institutions, particularly the CJEU, in recognising and promoting the social rights of EU citizens and workers. The briefing, which is based on a book-length project by the authors, analyses how the Charter has actually been used the EU institutions in their legal and political actions. Overall, the conclusion is that the Charter has not been promoted effectively enough and, indeed, has been deployed by the CJEU to block a more progressive interpretation of EU Directives. A number of hurdles therefore still need to be overcome in order for the Charter to live up to expectations.

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Focus

  • This policy brief examines issues surrounding recent cuts in pensions provision for workers in arduous and hazardous jobs (WAHJ). Such workers have historically enjoyed better provision because of the strong possibility of them having to take early retirement, but historic arrangements are now under threat. The policy brief presents some data on the working conditions and pensions patterns of WAHJ and provides some policy suggestions for their trade union representatives.