Policy Study

13/04/2016

European labour markets currently fail millions for whom they cannot provide work, and millions more who must face job insecurity, underemployment, stagnant wages or poverty pay. The forces which have served to weaken our labour markets include political failure, globalisation, technological change, labour union decline and the increasing power of capital vis-à-vis labour. Ominously, each of these forces look likely to accelerate, rather than abate. This is – clearly – a particular problem for a movement so historically and closely bound up with the labour movement, and labour rights. Given this, it is imperative that European socialists look beyond their existing prescriptions for labour markets. We may have lost the recent history of labour, but it is essential we reclaim the future.

This paper identifies and develops four new areas which policymakers may seek to exploit. Firstly, we assess the potential for strengthening labour markets through a renewed focus on international solidarity – including deepening cross border cooperation with labour organisations and learning from best practice both in and outside of Europe. Secondly, we consider the options for strengthening the position of migrant labourers within the EU – a policy which serves to not only build solidarity within Europe, but also begin to mitigate the race to the bottom which characterises man sectors of European Labour markets.

We also consider the possibility of developing Europe’s industrial strategy such that it becomes capable of coordinating the development of capacity and innovation – and in so doing, securing the kind of work that (particularly young) European workers often seek. And in the same vein, we conclude by arguing that the European left must look much more closely at developing a basic income style proposal of its own. Such a policy, we argue, offers the prospect of the most radical and effective rebalancing of Europe’s labour market. We argue that much of the leftist scepticism over a basic income is misplaced, and that suitably defined – the policy represents an invaluable pro-socialist and pro-labour option for the future.

Network
Karl Renner Institut
Find all related publications
Publications
12/02/2024

The Social Pillar and the future of the EU Social Agenda

24/01/2024

Progressive Yearbook 2024

Looking back to look ahead
29/11/2023

Social Europe: From vision to vigour

FEPS Primer series - Björn Hacker
22/11/2023

The macro-economic impact of the cost crisis

Lessons for Europe
Find all related Progressive Post
Progressive Post
08/02/2024

A just transition in crisis mode

06/02/2024

Food prices are high. Why are farmers angry?

01/02/2024

The bottleneck of the Green Deal

Find all related events
Events
Upcoming
15/03/2024
Cieszyn, Poland

Health for all

From a slogan to a reality for Europe
Past
12/02/2024
Austrian Permanent Representation, Brussels

The European Pillar of Social Rights

Turning principles into practice
30/01/2024
FEPS HQ (Expert meeting)

Progressive Economics Network

Towards a progressive toolbox to deal with inflation
Find all related news
News
24/01/2024

Spanish Minister Teresa Ribera awarded FEPS ‘Progressive Person of the Year’

18/01/2024

FEPS President at Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

19/12/2023

Call for tender – Research project manager

Research within the framework of the project 'Social democracy without people. On the sources of the popularity of authoritarian populism in Poland'
12/12/2023

FEPS Young Academics Network, Cycle 9

Call for new members - Extended until 14 February 2024
Find all related in the media
In the media

FEPS President at Euronews talk-show ‘Brussels, my love?’

by Euronews 15/01/2024
Panellists discussed topics including EU fiscal rules reform, German farmer's protests, and the decision of Charles Michel to quit his job early to run for MEP.

Durchhalten ist nicht unmöglich

by Frankfurter Hefte 06/12/2023
'Persevering is not impossible' Article by Ania Skrzypek, FEPS Director for Research and Training, on the future of social democracy in Europe

Socialistas europeos reclaman que la Europa social sea la prioridad de la futura Comisión

by EuroEFE 09/11/2023
'European socialists demand that social Europe be the priority for the future Commission' article about the 'Champions of progress: Progressives go the extra mile for Social Europe!' side event organized by FEPS and PES

“Trade doesn’t work in isolation from good domestic policies” Interview to Arancha González

by Borderlex 19/09/2023
Interview to Arancha González, former Spanish foreign minister, who released together with FEPS the new book entitled 'The Trade Handbook: Making Trade Work for Prosperity, People and Planet'