FEPS Newsletter 31 March 2023 – Dark Stores, Recovery Watch, Ukraine & new issue of the Progressive Post

🛵 FEPS Newsletter: Dark Stores, Recovery Watch, Ukraine & new issue of the Progressive Post
Q-commerce, EU governance, Ukraine candidacy, Feminist Foreign Policy…
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Upcoming Events
Quick-commerce is a service aimed at superfast grocery delivery to consumers’ doorsteps. And recently, they have boomed! But what are the health conditions of the employees in the sector, their job security, and social rights? We published two policy studies and discussed the findings with the authors and experts. If you are also worried that the “path to profitability” could be paved on the back of the workers, you can watch or read our recommendations to protect them.

Our Recovery Watch project keeps on monitoring the Next Gen EU, and with foresight, we look at the future of a post-war Ukraine in the EU.

Finally, 🌸 Spring has arrived! With the new season comes the new issue of The Progressive Post, and with it, the Special Coverage on Feminist Foreign Policy and its potential.
by Rachel Verdin, Steve Rolf, Wil Hunt and Sacha Garben

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a boom in the online grocery market, with the emergence of new quick-commerce (q-commerce) startups delivering from “dark stores” promising super-fast delivery times. This policy study, in collaboration with UNI Europa, draws on qualitative and desk research and interviews with workers to provide insights into the emergence of q-commerce, the business strategy of the rapid-delivery sector and its impact on work in Europe, including labour issues and policy implications. Read more.
📰 The EU Observer and the Digit centre are talking about it!
by Steve Rolf, Wil Hunt and Rachel Verdin

The rise of q-commerce platforms has reshaped the retail industry. With UNI Europa, we examine their potential threats to established collective bargaining patterns and trade union strongholds in brick-and-mortar retail. The study outlines a critical Power Resources Approach (PRA) framework to adjudicate the potential for organising in q-commerce, given the structure of the industry and its labour markets. Read more.
Dark stores: Back to the Dark Ages?
28 March – FEPS HQ – Hybrid

When Q-commerce services promise to bring groceries to your door in less than 30 minutes, you should be worried. On the launch of our new policy studies, in collaboration with UNI Europa, we unveiled the health conditions of the employees in
the Dark Stores’ sector, their job security and social rights. We discovered how, for profitability, the safety and health of the workers are disregarded and we discussed the complexity of forming a union under these conditions and possible solutions.

🖥 Learn more about algorithms at the workplace with our new digital research programme, in cooperation with Kalevi Sorsa -säätiö, FES Nordics, Tankesmien Agenda, CEVEA, ECLM, SAMAK, and with the support of Nordics trade Unions.

by Frédéric Allemand, Jérôme Creel, Nicolas Leron, Sandrine Levasseur and Francesco Saraceno

We have the opportunity to remedy the depoliticisation of EU policies and take a step towards a “political Europe”. With a permanent NGEU, Europeans could decide to allocate for themselves a share of the common wealth drawn from the private profits made from the internal market.

The production of EU public goods financed by a truly European tax system, not by national contributions, would enable the creation of a genuinely democratic basis for the EU. It would be a further step in the European integration process. Read more.
27 March – FEPS HQ

This roundtable was the occasion for experts to discuss the findings of the Recovery Watch focus area on EU Governance with a specific look at the policy implications for reforming the EU economic governance framework.
The future of EU as a democratic, valued-based community that is embedded in a well-functioning multilateral system of global governance depends on the success of Ukraine’s post-war transformation into a modern, resilient democracy, which eventually succeeds in its full European integration.
Read the first publication of the ‘Progressive paths to rebuild Ukraine‘ project, launched by FEPS with Foundation Max van der Stoel, Amicus Europae, Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Karl-Renner-Institut, FES Ukraine and Kalevi Sorsa -säätiö, to support progressives in developing a clearer vision for the future of Ukraine and its place in the EU. Read more.
25 April – FEPS HQ – Hybrid

How might growing levels of confrontation and mistrust on the international stage affect human security and drivers of conflict in the long term?

What factors or actors could help reinvigorate arms control and non-proliferation regimes?

We will discuss these questions during the 4th expert roundtable of the Foresight project ‘The long-term implications of the war in Ukraine‘, which will focus on issues of the prospects for arms control, disarmament, non-proliferation, technological innovation, conflict prevention, and human security.


In this spring issue of The Progressive Post, the Special Coverage looks at Feminist Foreign Policy, to try to gauge its potential but also the risk that it could be perceived as another attempt by the West to impose its vision on the Global South.
The Focus Unbroken Ukraine: one year of war is centred mostly on the human cost of the war, with an invitation to think out of the box when it comes to devising the path to peace and to look beyond the war when it comes to devising the country’s future reconstruction. The Dossier Is the centre-right still ‘centre’? analyses what has traditionally been progressives’ main competitor, the centre-right, and its increasing connexion with the far-right. And the Dossier Can work be compatible with well-being? explores the difficulties, particularly for women, of finding a good work-life balance and running good working lives. Read more.

We are proud to share that FEPS has contributed to a paper summarising the joint priorities of organisations based in Europe and active in democracy, human rights and the rule of law for the European Commission’s Defence of Democracy Package.
As there is always a risk that a legislation can be weaponised against pro-democratic actors if assessments and definitions are not sufficiently clear, the joint paper emphasises the need to carefully consider legislative and non-legislative initiatives, ensuring that they uphold international human rights law. The paper also provides recommendations in various areas. Read more.
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Alexandros Michailidis

A year ahead of EU elections, Sphera Network is taking stock of young Europeans’ views and hopes concerning the EU and cross-border issues.To dive into this critical topic, Quentin Ariès, editor-at-large at Babel International interviewed Matteo Dressler,
FEPS Policy Analyst, on the findings of the ‘Builders of Progress‘ survey.

🎙️René Repasi, MEP, reflects with László Andor, FEPS Secretary General, on how the so-called “Qatargate” has undermined citizens’ trust in the EU Institutions. Welcoming the swift and strong actions taken by the S&D group in response to these cases of corruption and undue influence.
Repasi stresses the importance of improving transparency, accountability and media attention to avoid such “bad apples”. They then expand the discussion to other issues: from the EU Strategic Autonomy, to a shared enthusiasm for the establishment of a common EU unemployment insurance.

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