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Wages, labour markets, solidarity in European construction since the end of the 1960s

Salaires, marchés du travail, solidarité dans la construction européenne depuis la fin des années 1960

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Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

The financial crises faced by Greece, Italy and Spain since 2010 have caused a vast movement of reforms both at European and national levels. Three aspects are of particular importance : increasing public financial transfers through the institution of intervention funds to support the economies of the States in difficulty ; the reduction of the deficits and debts of Member States ; reforms of labour markets and social protection in the States in difficulty. It is on this last point that this working Group intends to focus in a historical perspective. This working Group will seek to consider how patterns of negotiation among European States have emerged from the late 1960s and early 1970s on this issue.

Announcement

IRICE / RICHIE Working Group

 

Research project

The financial crises faced by Greece, Italy and Spain since 2010 have caused a vast movement of reforms both at European and national levels. Three aspects are of particular importance : 1) increasing public financial transfers through the institution of intervention funds to support the economies of the States in difficulty ; 2) the reduction of the deficits and debts of Member States ; 3) reforms of labour markets and social protection in the States in difficulty. It is on this last point that this working Group intends to focus in a historical perspective.

This working Group will seek to consider how patterns of negotiation among European States have emerged from the late 1960s and early 1970s on this issue. This is indeed a turning point from which the debates on international competitiveness and unemployment and the criticism of the welfare State have multiplied. The welfare State refers to the devices by which a State guarantees to workers, in particular lower-paid workers, protections against risks and on the level of wages. The group will then seek to determine to what extent these patterns would tend to oppose two types of European States : States devoted to defend the level of wages and social protection and States more ready to accept wage and social fluctuations according to economic circumstances. If the latter would be more confronted with the problem of the working poor, the former would be more heavily beaten by the problems of competitiveness, unemployment and, consequently, public deficits during difficult circumstances. In addition to the problem of the differences in development among European countries, these differences would constitute the crux of the issue of solidarity among European States. Since 20 years, greater openness to trade and the single currency would have accentuated these mechanisms. Protectionism and currency manipulation could allow States in greater difficulty to restore their competitiveness protected from foreign competition. These buffers lost, intra-European differences would have developed within the open market.

If these features were confirmed, the Group would seek to determine their causes in the political balances and contexts specific to each State. This would have to determine to what extent the two above-mentioned States groups correspond to Mediterranean States on the one hand and to the States of Northern Europe on the other. The impact of differentiated exposure to migratory pressure from North and West Africa and from the Middle East might explain different political balances on wages and social protection. However, this group will also incorporate varied perspectives, explaining the difficulty of European solidarity and the divergences among European countries by other factors, such as linguistic otherness.

Program

Wednesday, May 29

  • 16h :
    • Presentation coordinated by Eric Bussiere of the book of Lorenzo Mechi, L’Organizzazione internazionale del lavoro e la ricostruzione europea. Le basi sociali dell’integrazione economica (1931-1957) (Roma, Ediesse, 2012).
    • Interventions of Thomas Cayet and Guia Migani
    • Discussion with the author

Thursday, May 30

10.00 : Welcome

10:10 : Introduction, Emmanuel Comte (Paris 4)

10:30 : Economic and social divergences in Europe from the 1970s

Chair : Guia Migani (Padua)

  • Karl Lauschke (historian, Dortmund) : « Les relations entre syndicats allemands et français sur l’Europe sociale dans les années 1970 ».
  • Francesco Petrini (historian, Padua) : « La dévaluation monétaire comme instrument de politique économique : le cas italien. De la fin des années 1970 jusqu’au milieu des années 1990 ».

12:15 : Lunch

14.00 : The evolution of labour markets in Europe since the 1970s

Chair : Laurent Warlouzet (Artois/LSE)

  • Philippe Martin (jurist, CNRS-Bordeaux 4) : « Le droit du travail en Espagne et en Italie : convergences, divergences, singularités ».
  • Johan Bo Davidsson (political scientist, Lund) : "Labour market politics in Western Europe".

15:45 : Break

16.00 : Factors underlying European divergences

Chair : Houda Ben Hamouda (Nantes)

  • Camilla Devitt (political scientist, Trinity College Dublin) : "The impact of the Migrant Worker Factor on labour markets institutions in Western Europe".
  • Jean-Claude Barbier (sociologist, CNRS-Paris 1) : « Les obstacles à la solidarité européenne face aux chocs économiques depuis les années 1970 ».

17:45 : Break

18.00 : Conclusion, Eric Bussière (Paris 4).

Places

  • Maison de la recherche, salle D223 (2e étage) - 28, rue Serpente
    Paris, France (75006)

Date(s)

  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Keywords

  • marché du travail, chômage, zone euro, immigration, construction européenne

Contact(s)

  • Emmanuel Comte
    courriel : Emmanuel [dot] Comte [at] Paris-Sorbonne [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Emmanuel Comte
    courriel : Emmanuel [dot] Comte [at] Paris-Sorbonne [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Wages, labour markets, solidarity in European construction since the end of the 1960s », Study days, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, https://calenda.org/247981

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