Select Page

Author: Social Europe Journal

“Brexit Can Be Stopped – But The Window Of Opportunity Is Closing Fast” by Steve Bullock

Steve Bullock Like many staunch Remainers, I’ve often found myself supporting calls for a referendum, or, at the very least, a vote in Parliament on the final Brexit deal. It is an appealing thought. It gives hope that Brexit can be stopped at the last moment, between a deal being agreed and the UK’s exit from the EU. It also gives a nice clear defence to the ‘will of the people’ argument: democracy does not just happen on one day, the democratic will of the people evolves as new information comes to light, and a second enquiry as to...

Read More

“The Inflation Target Trap” by Daniel Gros

Daniel Gros Central banks have a problem: growth in much of the world is accelerating, but inflation has failed to take off. Of course, for most people, growth without inflation is the ideal combination. But central banks have set the goal of achieving an inflation rate of “below, but close to 2%,” as the European Central Bank puts it. And, at this point, it is hard to see how that can be achieved. Central banks never pretended that they could steer inflation directly. But they thought that by providing rock-bottom interest rates and generous liquidity conditions in the wake...

Read More

“Employment Shifts In Europe During The Recovery: Three Little Noticed Trends” by John Hurley

John Hurley The EU has finally recovered all the net employment losses sustained since the global financial crisis. It has been a long and painful process. But there is at last growing evidence of positive momentum in EU labour markets, if not quite ‘animal spirits’. Many of those member states most affected by the global downturn have recorded significant employment growth in the last three years – including Spain (+9%), Ireland (+8%) and Greece (+5%). While overall employment numbers are back to where they were, and continuing to increase, the structure of employment in the EU has changed in...

Read More

“How Do European Welfare States Perform?” by Maria Alessandra Antonelli and Valeria De Bonis

Maria Alessandra Antonelli The European Union is characterized by different national social polices (although they are less clearly demarcated than in the past). The Nordic countries present high levels of social expenditure (around 30% of GDP in Denmark, Finland and Sweden), while the continental ones (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg) have an intermediate level of expenditure (on average 27% of GDP in 2016) and the Mediterranean countries (Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal), allocate – on average- a quarter of GDP to social policies (2016). Finally, Anglo-Saxon (Ireland and the United Kingdom) and Eastern countries devote, on average, just...

Read More

“The Discourse We Need And The Role of Trade Unions” by Michael Higgins

Michael Higgins Your movement with over 700,000 members in over 40 affiliated unions, is Ireland’s largest civic society body. Your contribution to the evolution of politics, economic and society in every part of this island has been essential and it has been emancipatory in so many ways. I am also pleased to be speaking here in Belfast because I am conscious of the importance of this city, Belfast, to the wider Irish and UK labour movement. With Manchester, it emerged as one of the earliest industrial cities in which a trade union movement would emerge, face obstacles, and succeed...

Read More

“Brexit In Reverse?” by George Soros

George Soros Economic reality is beginning to catch up with the false hopes of many Britons. One year ago, when a slim majority voted for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, they believed the promises of the popular press, and of the politicians who backed the Leave campaign, that Brexit would not reduce their living standards. Indeed, in the year since, they have managed to maintain those standards by running up household debt. This worked for a while, because the increase in household consumption stimulated the economy. But the moment of truth for the UK economy is fast...

Read More

“Dispelling Creative Myths On Lower Employment Protection” by Agnieszka Piasna and Martin Myant

Agnieszka Piasna In the years since the 2008 crisis, 229 employment protection reforms have been imposed across EU member states (see here). There has been a strong bias in favour of decreasing employment protection, even to a remarkable extent in some countries. The main argument for these reforms has been that making dismissals easier would encourage employers to hire workers on permanent contracts, therefore reducing unemployment and labour market segmentation. However, there is no logical reason why this should be the case. Reduced employment protection could just as plausibly lead to more dismissals and a less secure labour force,...

Read More

“Brexit Talks Should Be Postponed” by Stephany Griffith-Jones

Stephany Griffith-Jones The UK government has agreed with its EU partners to start Brexit negotiations today (June 19), with an all-day timetable starting at 0900 GMT and ending at around 1700; David Davis, Brexit secretary, will be across the table from Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator. But these negotiations should be postponed and the UK government should request such a postponement. After the elections, the current Government has no majority. It is still negotiating support from the Northern Irish conservative Democratic Unionist Party  to get support for its legislative program. As a result, the Queen’s speech, which announces...

Read More