European Work and Employment Research Centre

Social dialogue during the economic crisis

Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG

Budget Heading: Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue 
Sub-programme II: Improving expertise in the field of industrial relations
Project Leaders: Dr Aristea Koukiadaki, Dr. Isabel Tavor, Professor Miguel Martínez Lucio (The UoM)

Project summary

Against the background of a profound economic crisis in Europe, wide-ranging labour market reforms are radically transforming the national systems of collective bargaining in a number of EU Member States. The comparative research project will seek to understand how the crisis-driven policy reforms translate into changes in collective bargaining in manufacturing. Specific questions include: What have been the effects of the reforms for the process and content of collective bargaining at the national, industry and company level? How do employers and trade unions respond to the new regulatory framework and what have been the implications for the outcomes of collective bargaining on issues such as wages, employment conditions and gender equality?
How can the comparison of the reforms, their respective effect and social partners’ strategies be used for EU and national policy-making as well as cross-national learning and knowledge exchange for social partners?

The seven-country comparative study consists of primary and secondary data in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. Fieldwork includes interviews with social and regulatory actors in terms of social dialogue and collective bargaining arrangements. The case studies illuminate the challenges and strategies of social partners at sectoral and company levels as well as the likely outcomes for employees.

The significant policy interest of this project lies in its potential for contributing to addressing the employment and social dimensions of national and EU priorities relating to the response to and exit from the crisis.

The project has partners in a range of EU member states:

The project leaders are

The University of Manchester:

  1. Dr Aristea Koukiadaki

  2. Dr. Isabel Tavora

  3. Professor Miguel Martínez Lucio


The European Work and Employment Research Centre was established in 1994 to build upon and develop expertise in comparative and inter-disciplinary research in the area of work and employment.

Contact us

  • Address: 
    Alliance Manchester Business School
    Booth Street West
    M15 6PB, UK

  • Phone: +44 (0) 161 306 1320