The 2008 financial crisis and its continuing aftermath have thrown into question earlier European policies concerning flexibility and security in labour markets. New approaches and policies are needed. For the past three years a team of researchers from across Europe has been working on these issues, in research project GUSTO, funded by the Commission's FP7 programme.
A degree of uncertainty is necessary and even desirable to a successful programme of economic change. But GUSTO's work reveals several areas such as pension systems, immigration policy, labour market 'reforms' where policies are unnecessarily and negatively intensifying the uncertainty of workers' lives, at precisely the moment when demands are being made on those workers' commitment. What is more, frequent policy change creates uncertainty in itself, quite apart from the substance of the changes.
At this conference the GUSTO team debates these conclusions and the positive policy conclusions that should flow from them with policy-makers and social partner representatives.