The past few years have seen the adoption of a regulatory push from the EU when it comes to digital markets, digital services and data. It reconfirmed Europe as the global rule-setter in the digital world. After the GDPR, we now have the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts and the Data Governance and Data Act in place that could have a Brussels effect far beyond the EU’s borders. Whether this new regulatory framework is enough to change the dynamics of the digital economy remains to be seen. Past experiences should make us weary and realistic about the effectiveness of rules to stop the trend where the power of Big Tech firms seems to grow exponentially over time. Since the release of Chat GPT 3.5 in the autumn of 2022, the realisation has become mainstream that AI and the 4th industrial revolution are gathering momentum fast.

The narrative is that the wave of innovation of this industrial revolution will eventually benefit everyone. And yet, history shows that unregulated capitalism creates significant inequality, and benefits never spread automatically. We see that today, with inequality rising across the board, while a few big tech firms have amassed enormous power and wealth. This inequality is not just the result of the spread of digital technology but also closely wound up with the liberalisation of capital, globalisation, deregulation, and the decline of organised labour. Europe is searching for its model for the digital age, where there is space for non-commercial activities and public services and solid industrial relations are supported.

After the upheaval and technological change of the first industrial revolution, social democrats arose to provide refuge from market forces and exploitation by creating a range of new institutions (trade unions, voting rights, mass public education and healthcare, public libraries, etc.). A similar task awaits now as the institutions of the industrial era continue to disintegrate. In theory, digital technology can enhance forms of social coordination not based on commercial motives and competition (better public services, a more responsive democracy, social innovation), but this requires collective action. Europe is the continent where this innovation of the institutions of the digital age has the potential to originate, but it will need a progressive and strategic approach.

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FEPS HQ, Brussels (Expert meeting)

Security at work in an uncertain world III

FEPS and Progressive Britain are partnering up on a major new project on the future […]
Stockholm, Sweden (Hybrid)

Led by machines

Launch of the FEPS-Nordics Digital Programme on algorithmic management and workers' rights
Kielce, Poland

Work-life balance – Life under control

Challenges for Social Democracy Series
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Progressive Post

The EU’s dangerous proposal for stopping online child sexual abuse material


Future-proofing AI: regulation for innovation, human rights and societal progress


Regulating AI: workers’ intellect versus Big Tech oligarchs


Future of work: between global, digital, local and green

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Digital programme: Algorithms at the workplace

FEPS, together with Nordic partners, launched a Digital Program on algorithmic management and workers' rights
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In the media

AI, platforms and (human) workers’ rights

by Social Europe 07/07/2023
In Social Europe' article, Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, FEPS Policy Analyst on Digital, talks about the efforts to regulate AI undertaken by the EU and highlights the importance to grasp this opportunity to set the rules for a human-centric approach

Rapid grocery worker conditions are worsening, states report

by The Grocer 30/05/2023
The findings of our FEPS study on the quick-commerce sector and the conditions of rider workers were picked up by the UK-website 'The Grocer’.

Quick commerce – not turning a fast buck

by Social Europe 15/05/2023
Article on Social Europe by the authors of 'Back to the Dark Ages?' FEPS Policy Study about the quick-commerce workers' rights.

Work insecurity: the high cost of ultra-fast grocery deliveries

by euobserver 30/03/2023
EUobserver on the ultra-fast grocery deliveries and our policy study 'Back to the Dark Ages? Quick Commerce and the changing landscape of retail work', published in collaboration with Uni Europa.

La doble transición verde y digital como arma contra los depredadores de la energía

by Crónica Global 18/11/2022
Article by Pau Solanilla, Director of Fundació Rafael Campalans, ahead of the FEPS-Campalans event 'Figuring out the Twin Transition'
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“We need to empower, not weaken, workers and their representatives.” Commissioner Nicolas Schmit

Keynote speech on the ‘Digital Just Transition for workers’ (via recorded video). Speech by Nicolas […]

#134 FEPS Talks ‘Green Data: on the interplay of the twin transitions of digitalisation and climate’

The coming decades will be characterised by two significant technology challenges: climate change mitigation and […]

#132 FEPS Talks ‘Dark stores: Are the riders squeezed for super-fast grocery delivery?’

Quick-commerce is a service aimed at achieving superfast delivery from ‘dark stores’ to the consumer. […]

Dark stores: Back to the Dark Ages?

Launch event of policy study into the q-commerce sector

Progressive Yearbook 2023

Looking back to look ahead

Progressive Yearbook launch 2023

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Network and Team


Policy Analyst on Digital
Before joining FEPS, Gerard served as a political secretary and director of the Vooruit movement […]


Project Officer
Graduated in History at the University of Évora (Portugal), Luis also holds Master’s Degrees in […]

Euléane OMEZ

Project Management Coordinator
Euléane develops and coordinates operationally European projects in partnership with members for several policy portfolios: Social, […]