Unequal Europe – A NEUJOBS brainstorming workshop

Past event

Climate, Energy & Sustainability
Unequal Europe – A NEUJOBS brainstorming workshop


This NEUJOBS brainstorming workshop is organised by the European Social Observatory, our partner for the Social Union work.

In the past year, Friends of Europe’s brought together a High-Level Group on ‘Social Union’ under the chairmanship of former Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Social Affairs Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. Thirty or so senior experts from a range of professional backgrounds and political affiliations discussed the social challenges that confront the European Union as well as the EU’s social policy options once a new Commission and Parliament are in place.

Some of the key themes that were addressed by the High-Level Group are closely related to those covered by the NEUJOBS (FP7) research project, which has undertaken extensive research on the long-run determinants of European labour markets, in view of the four major transitions that will impact employment (the socio-ecological and societal transitions, new territorial dynamics, and skills upgrading).

At the moment where the NEUJOBS project has delivered its final output and the High-Level Group is finalizing its own report, researchers, policymakers and EU as well as domestic stakeholders will exchange views during a brainstorming workshop that will focus particularly on defining the EU social policy agenda for the coming five years.



Registration of participants and informal light lunch

The key social challenges Europe is facing: shared convictions and empirical evidence

Introduction by

László Andor

Secretary-General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), former European commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Remarks by

Anton Hemerijck

Professor of Institutional Policy Analysis at VU University

Damian Grimshaw

Professor of Employment Studies at Manchester Business School

Attila Bartha

Visiting Research Fellow at the Central European University

Chaired by

Bart Vanhercke

Directof of the European Social Observatory and Member of the High- Level Group on 'Social Union'

Refreshments break
Expand Refreshments break

Introduction by

Freek Spinnewijn

Directof of the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA) and Member of the High-Level Group on 'Social Union'

Remarks by

Ruth Paserman

Deputy Head of Cabinet of EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen

Philippe Pochet

Directof of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)

Karina Ransby

Director at the Confederation of Danish Employers

Conny Reuter

Global Coordinator of Progressive Alliance and Member of the Transparency Board of Friends of Europe

End of the workshop and refreshments


Giles Merritt
Giles Merritt

Founder of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Giles Merritt

Giles Merritt is the Founder of Friends of Europe, and was its Secretary General between 1999 and 2015, and its Chairman between 2016 and 2020.

A former Financial Times Brussels Correspondent, Giles Merritt is a journalist, author and broadcaster who has for over four decades specialised in European public policy questions. In 2010 he was named by the Financial Times as one of its 30 most influential “Eurostars”, together with the European Commission’s President and NATO’s Secretary General.

Giles Merritt joined the Financial Times in 1968, and from 1972 until 1983 he was successively FT correspondent in Paris, Dublin/Belfast, and Brussels. From 1984 to 2010 he was a columnist for the International Herald Tribune (IHT), where his Op-Ed page articles ranged widely across EU political and economic issues.

In 1982 he published “World Out of Work”, an award-winning study of unemployment in industrialised countries. In 1991, his second book “The Challenge of Freedom” about the difficulties facing post-communist Eastern Europe was published in four languages. His book “Slippery Slope: Europe’s Troubled Future” (Oxford University Press 2016), was shortlisted for the European Book Prize.

Photo of László Andor
László Andor

Secretary-General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), former European commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Show more information on László Andor


view all
view all
view all

the debate on

Track title


Stop playback
Video title


Africa initiative logo