Restructuring Work and Employment in Europe

Restructuring Work and Employment in Europe

Managing Change in an Era of Globalisation

Edited by Bernard Gazier and Frédéric Bruggeman

This detailed, comprehensive study on downsizing in Europe is underpinned by cross-national, interdisciplinary empirical research on restructuring management in five European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It contains systematic national comparative overviews, and transversal analyses of more than 30 in-depth case studies, taking into account a broad range of perspectives across professional human resources managers, unions’ representatives, local and national civil servants, social workers and physicians. The authors examine strategic choices and practices in national and local contexts, showing that the practice of restructuring is not as heterogeneous as many previous studies have indicated or predicted. Systematic policy proposals for better economic and social management of restructuring are also prescribed.

Chapter 15: Does Europe have Restructuring Policies?

Claude Emmanuel Triomphe

Subjects: business and management, strategic management, economics and finance, labour economics

Extract

Claude Emmanuel Triomphe Although the construction of Europe can itself be seen as part of a global restructuring process, triggering far-reaching changes in society, the balance of power and the economic life of the continent as a whole, the question is, does Europe itself have a global view on restructuring and if so, is it equipped with the necessary tools to implement it effectively? On this issue, current European policy may be the object of some concern. With the future in mind, it is worthwhile stepping back into and reflecting upon the origins of the Union itself and what it has, so far, been able to achieve. However, a detailed exploration of the European construction, its peculiarity, its heterogeneity, its complexity (as a result of institutional compromises), and of the nature of the Union – a community but not a nation, with high ambitions and limited competences, tools and resources – is outside the scope of this contribution. Therefore this chapter will consider some key historical, legislative, political and financial developments. We first examine how from its inception Europe developed a perspective on restructuring and which economic, financial, legislative and social tools were used to engage with this process. We discuss the impact and fate of these instruments following the Amsterdam orientations and in the context of the challenges associated with both enlargement and globalisation (sections 1 and 2). We then review recent advances and limitations, and identify possible areas for progress (sections 3 and 4). 1. A FOUNDING IDEA...

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