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Wanja Lundby-Wedin - favours security in change

Wanja Lundby-Wedin - favours security in change

(May 01, 2008) She is the president of LO - Sweden, the Council of Nordic Trade Unions and of the European Trade Union Confederation. Wanja Lundby-Wedin represents the employees of all of Europe. “As their representative of course I have power. That is just how it should be”, she says.

From before cradle to grave

From before cradle to grave

(May 01, 2008) If the new president asked: What would you recommend to really combat poverty?

Striking the right work-life balance

(Mar 03, 2008) There's a lot of focus on finding a balance between work and private life these days. Despite all the good intentions, it is hard to imagine real change will come about before we seriously address the difficulties in getting the right mix of family and working life. There is now considerable scientific documentation showing heavy work loads and unsociable working hours make it hard to find time for family life.

Things to do on holiday

(May 10, 2007) "How was your holiday?" they ask me. I think to myself - holiday? What holiday? I've worked harder over the past three months at home than during an entire year in the office.

The Nordic women – leaders in gender equality

The Nordic women – leaders in gender equality

(May 01, 2007) The Nordic countries are leaders in Europe and the world when it comes to equality between men and women. Nowhere else do women have such good opportunities to participate in working life and build careers as in the Nordic region. Finland recently set a new world record in the number of women in government, with 12 women cabinet members. Iceland is an example in parental equality as all fathers have their own three-month paternity leave.

Commission Green Paper on labour law and the challenges of the 21st century

(May 01, 2007) The Barrosso Commission of the European Union presented in late 2006 a Green Paper entitled “Modernising labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century”. The paper has received reactions and comments during the whole of spring, and the general assessment is that the Nordic countries and the Nordic social partners have been rather critical to the suggestions and proposals in the Green Paper.

Finland's Tuula Haatainen sees positive gender signals in EU

Finland's Tuula Haatainen sees positive gender signals in EU

(Oct 10, 2006) The European Union is seriously looking at the challenges of gender equality, while many member states have no option but to address the problem of how work and family life can be combined.

EU enlargement two years on: what challenges to the Nordic labour market?

(Oct 01, 2006) The growing mobility of labour from EU-8 after 1 May 2004 has contributed to increasing production and employment, curbing of prices and interest rates, and extending the room of manoeuvre in economic policies in the Nordic countries.

New life for “industrial graveyards“ - lots of jobs in culture and arts

(Oct 01, 2006) All around Europe a new and fast growing labour market in culture and arts gives new vigour to cities and towns. In de-industrialised places this is particularly evident. Instead of moving out, people have started to move in - to jobs in the “creative sector“ - counting for an average of one third of all jobs. With the growth of the cultural infrastructure dull places turn into attractive and colourful ones where people like to live.

UK's Eastern European salvation or damnation

UK's Eastern European salvation or damnation

(Oct 01, 2006) A day trip to Britain's famous Blackpool seaside resort left me wondering whether I'd taken a wrong turning and ended up in Poland. In every chip shop, every café, every gaming arcade and at every amusement ride I was served by a Marek, an Ewa or a Dariuz.

Norway's new Super Minister: Bjarne Håkon Hanssen

(Mar 10, 2006) Work for all is one of the main aims of Norway's new left-of-centre government. "Super Minister" Bjarne Håkon Hanssen carries a great responsibility. He controls one in three of every krone in the budget. He has to make sure the government reaches its goal of a more inclusive working life. The hidden unemployment must be fought, and more people of employable age must be included in working life.

The Nordic Model of Labour Relations and the Vaxholm case

The Nordic Model of Labour Relations and the Vaxholm case

(Mar 01, 2006) Sweden was one of the few EU member states that did not introduce any transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers when EU enlarged with 10 new members in 2004.

Packing your bags is hard to do

(Mar 01, 2006) Two nights a week, over twenty foreigners like me gather in a classroom at an Oslo language school, determined to improve our faltering Norwegian.

Book in review: What future for the Nordic model?

(Sep 01, 2005) Slash taxes and cut benefits to put an end to poverty. This is the recipe that is often prescribed by neo-liberal thinkers to solve society’s woes. Doing the opposite, in their minds,would amount to kill the golden goose of economic development.

Tasting the community spirit

(Sep 01, 2005) A few weeks after moving to Norway, I did something I would never have done anywhere else. At 6pm on the dot, I left my flat to meet my neighbours in the courtyard. We planted flowers, cleaned the grounds, painted the door frames, did the odd repair, and generally made our apartment block a better place to live in.

Nordic Council of Ministers: Neighbours catching the same wind

Nordic Council of Ministers: Neighbours catching the same wind

(Jul 01, 2005) Because they are so similar, the Nordic countries can enjoy the advantage of exchanging experiences. The Nordic co-operation is being developed in areas where one can enjoy a synergy effect. When the Nordic Council of Ministers of Employment meet, one question on the table is this: Can the Nordic model, which has been so successful and so close to its citizens, be a source of inspiration for the rest of Europe – or will it be undermined by the EU?

Innovation: More than just a good idea

(Mar 01, 2005) European employment policy has, in recent years, turned more and more strongly towards innovation. For high cost countries, the continuous cost-cutting improvements of existing products, services and processes is no longer sufficient to maintain employment and income. On this, there is little disagreement. It is when we turn to the practical issue of how to promote innovation that the perspectives tend to move apart.

Øresund has something to teach Europe

(Mar 01, 2005) Peter Kay Mortensen thinks the rest of Europe could learn from the experiences of the Øresund region in Denmark and Sweden. He is chairman of the Greater Copenhagen Section of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions, and one of the driving forces behind the Øresund co-operation.

Saved? – At least for now

(Mar 01, 2005) For the past few months General Motors (GM) has been on the rampage in Europe. The attacks were directed at the three German Opel plants in Rüsselsheim, Bochum and Kaiserslautern, plus Swedish Saab in Trollhättan. 12 000 jobs are going, the German wages are lowered, working hours are increased – and the only guarantee is that the plants won’t be closed before 2010.

Siv Fridleifsdottir and the Icelandic chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2004

Siv Fridleifsdottir and the Icelandic chairmanship of the Nordic Council of Ministers 2004

(Mar 01, 2004) She is Icelandic, Norwegian, and a little bit Swedish. She grew up on the outskirts of the only big city in Iceland, in the county of Seltjarnarnes, surrounded by the Atlantic. Her main job is as Iceland’s Environment Minister, and this year she is also a Nordic co-operation minister. She is one of the leading women in Icelandic politics, active in a political party where the closest young women used to come to power was to be married to a politician.

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