“The implementation of the EU employment policies
in Germany, Italy and Denmark”
This project has received funding from the
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 654925
The current financial crisis caused the emergence and rapid growth of unemployment. The EU is trying to cope with this problem by promoting the flexicurity strategy (COM(2010) 2020). By adopting an innovative inter/multidisciplinary approach, the research project focuses on the analysis of the legal i./a. of the flexicurity strategy – with regard to active and passive LMPs – in three Member States: Germany, Denmark, and Italy. The project aims also to formulate Employment Policy Suggestions useful in order to make progress in the improvement of the effectiveness of the Member States’ active and passive LMPs and, consequently, to enhance the EU citizens’ quality of life.
The research ideally aims to contribute in the improvement of the effectiveness of the Member States LMPs, i.e. in the improvement of the effectiveness of national ALMPs in favouring the placement of unemployed people in new jobs and in the improvement of the level of UBs protection addressed to them.
The flexicurity strategy (flex. strategy) was officially launched in 2007 (COM(2007) 359 final) with the aim of conciliating social protection and flexibility’s requests. UBs and ALMPs regulations are fundamental aspects of this strategy. Several attempts have been made to define elements of the flex. strategy, but studies are mostly economic and sociological and do not deepen the analysis of the specific process of legal i./a. of the EU strategy to national systems. In particular, the flex. strategy “… should be adapted to the specific circumstances, labour markets and industrial relations of the Member States” (COM(2007) 359 final). The legal i./a. of this strategy has to cope with the specific National open-issues, related to the particular characteristics of each Member State. Moreover, this i./a. should follow “national traditions and constitutional values, in order to strengthen the internal coherence of national legal systems”.
The Europe 2020 strategy still considers the flex. a path to address the problem of unemployment and “at national level, Member States will need to implement their national pathways for flexicurity”. Many authors think that the flex. concept is ambiguous and unclear; as a matter of fact, “much depends on if and how Member States take up the flexicurity idea and on the content of the policies and regulations they implement”. This ambiguity “allows different actors to use it to promote their diverging views on labour market reforms”. Moreover, the recent national reforms in the field are criticized by legal doctrines from different points of view, e.g. the downsizing of the social security protection (e.g. in Germany and Denmark, whereas in Italy is still lacking an assistance level of protection) or the lack of adequate ALMPs. As regards this last point, in Denmark some scholars speak about “meaningless activation”, i.e. an activation policy which requires the unemployed person to accept any, first-available job, and does not recognise or enhance the professional skills of workers. In Germany, doubts were raised on the constitutionality of the reform of 2009 as far as the definition of activation duties was imprecise; in Italy many authors question the effectiveness of the employment services even for an evident lack of financial resources devoted to this goal. Considering all these aspects it is legitimate to wonder whether the flex. is correctly implemented by Member States and how/to what extent they can implement/adapt it to their system taking into account the absence of clear indications.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN OUTCOMES OF THE RESEARCH?
- ANALYSIS of the implementation of the flexicurity strategy in Germany, Denmark and Italy. The research focused on the passive LMPs, (i.e. the social security legislation) and the ALMPs (i.e. legislation, which promotes activation measures and policies);
- ANALYSIS of the issues pointed out by the national legal doctrines;
- FORMULATION of Employment Policy Suggestions, which can be deduced from the analysis outcomes, in order to improve the national legal implementation process of flexicurity and that can be useful in the current implementation of the Social Pillar. This is the new project launched by the EU in order to strengthen the social rights of the citizens.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN PUBLICATIONS OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT?
- CONFERENCE PAPER (SELECTION THROUGH A PEER REVIEW PROCEDURE) 4
- BOOK 2
- EDITING OF BOOK 2
- EDITING OF SPECIAL ISSUES (PEER REVIEW PROCEDURE) 1
- CONTRIBUTION IN BOOK 2
- CONTRIBUTION IN BOOK (PEER REVIEW PROCEDURE) 2
- CONTRIBUTION IN PEER REVIEW JOURNAL 2
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN ACTIVITIES RELATING TO THE PROJECT?
Geneva, 3-5 July 2017, ILO International Labour Organisation, Presentation of the paper: "Workfare: current challenges", Conference of the Regulating of Decent Work Network;
Verona, 29 May 2017, University of Verona, Department of Law, Seminar “EU employment policy: activation and unemployment benefits”;
Munich, 19 October 2016, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Presentation as visiting researcher: "The implementation of the EU employment policies in Germany, Italy and Denmark";
Berlin, 23 September 2016, Conference "European Employment Policies: Current Challenges. Active and Passive Labour Market Policies in the EU" (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) – Organization, Coordination and Presentation: "Italy, Denmark and Germany: How are EU employment policies reflected in national employment policies?";
Berlin, 24 June 2016, Workshop "Most debated issues in active and passive employment policies of Member States: differences and common profiles" (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) – Organization, Coordination and Presentation: "Italian active and passive labour market policies: improvements and pending issues";
Rome, 19/21 May 2016, Presentation "Taking into consideration crucial aspects to implement a EUBS" at the International Conference "Introducing a European Unemployment Benefit Scheme. Why and How" (International School of Industrial Relations, SERI);
Venice, 25-26 September 2015, Presentation "Le guidelines europee in tema di politiche attive e ammortizzatori sociali e l´ipotesi di un approccio alla cittadinanza sociale", [European guidelines in active and passive policies and the hypothesis of a social citizenship approach], at the International Conference "The idea of labour law today" in Commemoration of Prof. Giorgio Ghezzi (University of Venice);
Amsterdam, 25-27 June 2015, Labour Law Research Network Conference 2015, Presentation "Searching for new possibilities for the sustainability of social security" (University of Amsterdam).
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