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Industrial Relations in Europe Conference - IREC 2013


Labour relations still in crisis: bargaining, politics, institutions, and labour relations in Europe

The 21st Annual Meeting of IREC was held in Bucharest, between 12-14 September 2013, and was organized by the Political Science Department SNSPA and the Median Research Centre.

The economic and financial crisis has presented major challenges for governments, trade unions, employers, banks, and last but not least, for regular citizens. European anti-crisis policies are based on a variety of principles that differ in the Southern EU member states, the Nordic Countries, the British isles, the German states or the former communist countries. The policies have had various effectiveness on fighting unemployment, public and budget deficit, inflation, social risks and inequalities. The cuts in social expenditures have triggered social movements in many EU member states, and critiques from social actors.

Several questions arise from the current fluid context of European labour relations: How do European unions approach the new social risks? What is the extent of the labour market fragmentation in EU? Do the political conflicts, concerning the welfare state, institutional and economic reforms, involve trade unions and firms? In what degree have European trade unions been affected by the economic crisis? Did the East and Central European countries produce labour relations’ models different from other EU countries? How do we measure the new developments in labour relations? These questions were addressed at the 2013 Industrial Relations in Europe Conference.

IREC 2013 hosted theoretical and empirical papers that offered analyses of the stances of social actors concerning the economic decisions in the EU, the interaction at the national level, between unions, firms, government and political parties, as well as on the various models of European tackling of mobility and flexibility of labour markets, the relations between union and employers membership, leadership, the values attitudes and interests of individuals, last but not least, the analysis of East Central European models of labour relations and capitalist development.


This conference was supported by CNCS UEFISCDI, project number PNII IDEI/ WE-2012-4-142 / 2012