Working and employment conditions in new EU member states. Convergence or diversity?

Gives an overview on labour issues, prepared for the international conference "Working and employment conditions in an enlarged European Union", Brussels, 14-15 April 2005. Includes two ILO contributions (D. Vaughan-Whitehead; S. Lee).

This volume, produced by a working group of leading experts in the field, provides for the first time information on practices at enterprise level through a series of case studies in several new EU member states. It also identifies how the different elements of the world of work – employment contracts, working time, wages, social dialogue and workers’ participation, reconciliation of work and family – are combined, interact and are negotiated at local level.

While most of the new EU member states have undergone a radical transformation in order to fulfil all membership criteria, the impact on employment and working conditions of an unprecedented shift from a planned to a free market economy (for those from Central and Eastern Europe) and sudden exposure to international competition (also hard for the two Mediterranean countries, Malta and Cyprus) has yet to be documented.

A comprehensive and timely study, this book looks at trends in working and employment conditions in the 10 new EU member states within a year of their accession. In addition, it offers comparisons with other EU member states and provides new insights into general trends that we may expect – between convergence and diversity – in an enlarged EU.

This book thus offers a new window onto the essential but relatively unknown social dimension of the EU enlargement process.