The European Venue for Green Ideas

Work on the Horizon: Tracking Employment’s Transformation in Europe

‘Work on the Horizon’ explores the centrality of work and its changing nature in the face of social and technological developments, connecting experiences from around Europe to explore what are, and what could be, Green and forward-looking policies, political ideas, and proposals.

By the steady march of demographic change as much as by the viral advance of technology, the world of work and the many structures we built around it are being twisted out of shape. The threat of insecurity and redundancy, and the dark politics that come with it, contrast with the fresh possibilities that new ways of working open up, for the individual as for society as a whole. Experts on automation disagree what to expect and when, but as work becomes scarcer, it is getting more insecure. Yet with this uncertain future, reduced working hours, enhanced autonomy, and a shift away from a society organised around work are part of the conversation again across Europe. Greens and progressives will need to be forward-thinking and to work closely with social partners on education, social protection, and industrial policy to steer society towards a different, more sustainable, way of living. Europe must be at the centre of this debate, its continued prosperity in a wider world is at stake. This edition addresses the future of work as the key political question of our time. The Green European Journal contends that, in answering it, we can make valuable steps forward towards living more secure, healthy, and meaningful lives.

Articles in this edition

17.05.2018
Work in Motion

The editorial team presents the 17th thematic edition, “Work on the Horizon”, and sets forth why the future of work represents the key political challenge of our time.

EN
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17.05.2018
The Right Match: Finding Work in a Flexible Future

Flexibility: one person’s freedom and another’s insecurity. Dutch GroenLinks MEP Bas Eickhout and recruitment expert Robby Vanuxem discuss contemporary changes and challenges in the world of work.

EN
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17.05.2018
A Labour Code for the 21st Century

Alain Supiot makes an ambitious and much-needed proposal for a labour law reform that would protect workers while creating autonomy in the organisation and design of work.

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17.05.2018
The Gig Workers on Tap

Four panellists discuss the perils and possibilities of today's so-called 'gig economy', and how governments can keep up.

EN
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17.05.2018
The Limits of Work: Poverty and Exploitation in Today’s European Union

A photo essay by Apolena Rychlíková and Saša Uhlová on the harsh, insecure, and unsafe reality of temp agency work in the Czech Republic.

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17.05.2018
Representing the Brave New World of Work

As digitalisation turns the world of work upside down, Reiner Hoffmann discusses the situation of employees in the future labour market, and the role of the EU and trade unions.

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17.05.2018
Post-work: The Radical Idea of a World Without Jobs

With work stressful, unsatisfying, and in short supply, Andy Beckett introduces ‘post-work’, the enticing prospect (or pipe dream) holding that work will soon be a thing of the past.

EN
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17.05.2018
Invisible but Indispensable – The Unpaid Work at the Heart of our Economies

Much of the work which sustains society goes unrecognised. Politicians and experts from around Europe discuss experiences and policies in their country, and how to better account for domestic, care and other socially useful unpaid and often invisible forms of work.

EN
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17.05.2018
Questioning the Centrality of Work with André Gorz

Françoise Gollain draws on the work of André Gorz, a key thinker of political ecology, to reflect on the meaning of 'work' and its centrality in society.

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17.05.2018
When Time Isn’t Money: The Case for Working Time Reduction

Could reducing working time offer a way to a fairer, healthier, and more sustainable society? Expert Anna Coote sets out the arguments behind the proposal.

EN
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17.05.2018
Bridging the 82-km Happiness Gap: Can Estonia Stem the Labour Exodus to Finland?

Tens of thousands of Estonian workers commute to Finland, said to be the world's happiest nation. Silja Kudel examines Estonia’s ongoing struggle with 'brain drain'.

EN
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17.05.2018
Earn Money Online: The Politics of Microwork and Machines

Antonio Casilli discusses ‘microwork’, the increasingly common, hard-to-measure practice that sees people carry out small tasks online for even tinier amounts of pay.

EN
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17.05.2018
Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Robot

Technological advances, demographic shifts, and a shortage of caregivers mean that huge change is in store for the European healthcare system. But what does this mean for the healthcare workforce?

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17.05.2018
Touchy about Technology: Jobs and the Challenge for the Left

Luxemburgish Socialist MEP Mady Delvaux-Stehres discusses how we can place technology at the service of workers, social cohesion, and the fight against inequality.

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17.05.2018
Filling in the Cracks: Visions of Social Protection that Works

Welfare state models have historically linked social protection to employment. How can these adapt to new realities? Proposals and perspectives on social protection and the future of work from across Europe.

EN
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17.05.2018
Lightening Labour’s Load: An Atlas of Green Tax Alternatives

Taxes on employed labour income constitute the lion’s share of fiscal government revenues for governments in Europe. With the future of work uncertain, what are Green parties’ alternatives and proposals around Europe?

EN
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17.05.2018
Solidarity Forever: Talking Transition with Trade Unions

Trade unionist Philippe Pochet on changing perspectives on climate change and transition within organised labour and the essential and challenging task of working with Greens.

EN
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