The general objective of the work of the TN is to re-introduce and substantiate the concept of full employment (FE) into the economic policy discussion in the European Union, on the Community as well as on the national and regional/local level.
More specifically this includes the following three sub-objectives:
Work content/MethodologyThe work of the TN is divided in three working groups (wg), which constitute the four major work packages of the TN, which are sub-divided into several - from 5 to 8, altogether 26 - smaller work packages, each elaborated by one or two participants. Each of the major work packages deals with one specific group of factors the understanding of which is essential for the development of an adequate and realistic full employment strategy under the present circumstances. The four major groups are:
Whereas the first group clarifies the background and the basic driving forces which have led first to a situation of quasi FE in the 1950s and 1960s and then to the present situation of persistently high unemployment, the second one elaborates the more general macroeconomic framework in which a FE strategy must be embedded under the new circumstances. The third group thematises the particular specificities which make it necessary to go beyond mere macro-policies. The specific structures affecting the workforce at the corporate, sectorial, technological and regional level require particular institutional arrangements and therefore lead back to the first working group.
A FE strategy has to link the contemporary conceptual and theoretical policy orientation to the changes in economic structures and to the theoretical and political responses to these changes, resulting in a slowdown of general economic growth, new forms of work organisation and work content and a very complex sectorial and regional structure of the national economies and the European economy as a whole. While under the prevailing circumstances FE will not be achieved by simple Keynesian - or neo- or post-Keynesian - policy measures, an energetic macroeconomic policy change - particularly in the field of monetary, fiscal , income and exchange rate policies - is nevertheless necessary, even if it must operate under ecological constraints. But with regard to the changes mentioned above, particular emphasis has also to be placed on the plant and corporate level, where new forms of work organisation (outsourcing, teamwork, part-time work etc.) workers qualification and working time reduction must play a paramount role in a full employment oriented strategy which takes into account the new dimensions and intensity of international competition.
Each working group works roughly in the following five consecutive steps, which will be elaborated in detail for each working group below:
The working programme of the working groups can be downloaded as Portable Document Format (pdf) file. The Adobe Acrobat reader which is needed for reading pdf-files can be obtained free from Adobe in English, French and German.
Last Rev.: 9th August 1999