Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Seminar on"Trade unions and welfare", Trento, Italy, 26-27 October 2006


In the last two decades Western societies have undergone significant changes that have, inevitably, had an impact on European welfare structures. Even acknowledging diverse institutional specificities, there are common processes which challenge the regulation of traditional welfare programmes.The current situation is characterised by a process of European convergence, as well as the persistence of specific mechanisms at the national level.In these circumstances, the new institutional configurations,emerging around local welfare networks, are becoming an important area of research.

The role of trade unions as actors in welfare regulation requires reconsideration, as do their role in establishing collaborative or conflicting relationships with the public and third sectors who are involved in the governance of local social services.

This seminar was organised in cooperation with INAS CISL and Fondazione Giulio Pastore. The event  presented and discussed the results of research addressing these issues undertaken in eight European countries: Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Sweden and Poland.For each country, the research provided an overview of the changes in the trade union movement, not only as an actor in labour market bargaining, but also as an active party in the regulation of welfare services.

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