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Stan De Spiegelaere is a senior researcher at the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), guest professor at the University of Ghent and active member of the think tank Minerva.

When Alexis De Tocqueville was looking at the American system of democracy, he clearly understood that democracy isn’t only limited to voting and majority rule. For a democracy to thrive, citizens need to learn about how it works, about compromising and decision making, about respecting the views of others while defending your own.

Kurt Vandaele, investigador senior, Instituto Sindical Europeo, Bruselas

Hace aproximadamente un año escribí un informe sobre el desarrollo de la afiliación sindical en Europa. Su título, “Un futuro sombrío”, se explicaba por sí mismo: el número de miembros de un sindicato había disminuido en 24 de los 32 países europeos en el período 2010–2017, en comparación con la primera década del siglo XXI. Pero los tiempos están cambiando. …

Kurt Vandaele, chercheur senior, Institut syndical européen, Bruxelles

Il y a environ un an, j’ai rédigé un rapport sur l’évolution de l’affiliation aux syndicats en Europe. Son titre, “De sombres perspectives”, était explicite : le nombre d’affiliés avait diminué dans 24 des 32 pays européens au cours de la période 2010–2017, comparé à la première décennie du XXIe siècle. Mais l’époque est en train de changer. …

With a total of 13.8 million jobs in the broader European automotive sector, the industry is a key employer in Europe. Prior to the Covid outbreak, the industry was already in decline. The present crisis has posed unprecedented challenges in terms of digitalisation and decarbonisation and has pushed the industry to re-write its entire business model, redefine work and redraw its value chains.

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In this new post-Covid context and in light of the European Commission’s SURE programme which provides financial support to national short-time work to avoid unemployment and supports employees’ wages, Jörg Hofmann (president of IG Metall) has recently…

Kurt Vandaele, Senior Researcher, European Trade Union Institute, Brussels

About a year ago I wrote a report about the development of trade union membership in Europe. Its title, ‘Bleak prospects’, was self-explanatory: membership had declined in 24 out of 32 European countries in the period 2010–2017, compared to the first decade of the twenty-first century. But the times they are a-changin’. Health and safety issues in the workplace and economic uncertainty have, in certain industries and in some European countries, driven more workers to join unions since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

In Belgium, for example, a considerable increase in…

Franklin Kimbimbi, Education Officer, ETUI

Photo credits: Anna Shvets

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, the ETUI published several articles which shed light on the social, economic, and political consequences of this pandemic. Amongst these publications, let’s quote a few of them:

“Four scenarios for Europe’s future after the crisis” (Pochet, 2020). “Essential but unprotected: highly mobile workers in the EU during the Covid-19 pandemic” (Rasnača, 2020). “Covid-19 contact-tracing apps: how to prevent privacy from becoming the next victim” (Del Castillo, 2020).

Among the vast number of articles published on Covid-19 in scientific journals or daily newspapers, some are worth mentioning: “How the…

How far can you be pushed in the name of art? What impact does social media have on singers’ careers? Can you combine a passion for singing with an interest in the sound of other languages? And what about mixing singing with social activism, like being taught to sing by migrants in their native languages?

Lucy Grauman: choirmaster and professional singer. Images: © Martine Zunini

Mehmet Koksal, Head of Communications and Publications, ETUI

HesaMag joined the migrants who sing in Lucy Grauman’s choir in a working-class district of Brussels and talked with the artist, singer and therapist about what working conditions are like for professional singers.

It’s Thursday evening in…

Nicky Boon is a trade union representative in one of the large Belgian supermarket chains, Colruyt.

by Nicky Boon, trade union representative in one of the large Belgian supermarket chains, Colruyt.

In Belgium, as everywhere, one of the earliest reactions to lockdown from people was a rush on the supermarkets — particularly for toilet paper. Just as physical distancing rules were being implemented, supermarkets were being flooded with people each day, a risk to the shoppers themselves and particularly the workers.

Nicky Boon is a trade union representative in one of the large Belgian supermarket chains, Colruyt. Here, she shares her experience of the first crucial days of the lockdown period and explains how good company-level…

Monitor the social and employment consequences of the coronavirus in the European Union

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

In this time of crisis, it is difficult to keep up with the latest developments on Covid-19 and be able to have a full picture on the impact on the world of work. Many organisations offer datavizualition on the spreading of the disease or the number of casualties.

At the ETUI, we are focussing on the workers’ perspective. This is why we are launching today Covid Social Impact platform to monitor the social and employment consequences of the Covid-19 in European member states. …


The European Trade Union Institute is the research & training centre of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

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