The Challenges of Self-Employment in Europe
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The Challenges of Self-Employment in Europe

Status, Social Protection and Collective Representation

Edited by Renata Semenza and François Pichault

This book aims at explaining the variance in legal status, working conditions, social protection and collective representation of self-employed professionals across Europe. Despite considerable diversity, the authors observe three strategic models of mobilisation: the provision of services; advocacy, lobbying and the political role; and the extension of collective bargaining. They highlight the new urgent challenges that have emerged including the implementation of universal social protection schemes, active labour market policies likely to support sustainable self-employment, and the renewal of social dialogue through bottom-up organisations to extend the collective representation of project-based professionals.
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Chapter 4: The place of self-employment in the European context. Evidence from nine country case studies: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

Laura Beuker, Paolo Borghi, Marie-Christine Bureau, Antonella Corsani, Bernard Gazier, Alejandro Godino, Bas Koene, Antonio Martín-Artiles, Oscar Molina, Anna Mori, Frédéric Naedenoen, Maria Norbäck, Klemen Širok, Maylin Stanic and Lars Walter


Chapter 4 presents an overview of the various regulatory and legal frameworks around self-employed workers, the main institutional arrangements and a state of the art examination of social dialogue in each country case study. Nine European countries are covered (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK), embodying different welfare state regimes and diverse models of labour market and profession regulation. The country studies present the same structure, which includes an analysis of the institutional framework, the public policies supporting self-employment and the emergent and innovative strategies of collective representation. The picture that emerges from the country studies is small reforms at the margin and great fragmentation of the measures implemented, accompanied by institutional experimentalism and some innovative strategies of collective representation, carried out by new actors in the industrial relations arena.

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