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News 2005

Warning of a black work market
There is a clear risk of increased social dumping in the extended Europe. Wages differ widely, and labour laws are interpreted in many different ways. That is why Niklas Bruun, professor of labour law at Sweden’s National Institute for Working Life, wants to encourage European countries to actively fight the emergence of a black labour market.
Mobility after the enlargement - too much or too little?
Ten months after the at least partial opening of the borders for workers from the new EU member states, it is still too early to see whether it has been a positive or negative move for the Nordic countries. Some feel predictions of social dumping have come true. Others are surprised so few have made use of their increased mobility.
Nordic Co-operation: Backing increased integration
An overall relatively small number of people commuted across a border between the Nordic countries, yet in some regions the international commuting was very significant. Those are some of the results from the Nordic Commuting Map 2001, which was published recently. During its 2005 presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Denmark wants to make it easier for people to cross national borders to do a job.
Iceland: The parental revolution
The image of parent and child doesn't necessarily involve a woman any longer in Iceland. For almost five years fathers in Iceland have been able to take paternity leave, and from day one they have made the most of it. This has been the largest step Iceland has taken towards gender equality. But there are still examples of employers who don’t follow the law.
The Danish model: Inspiring growth
The combination ease of dismissal and job and economic security in Denmark has become a big success: 30 percent of Danish workers change jobs every year, unemployment is low, and Danish employees are the most content in the world. Now Danish employers and employees want to promote the Danish Flexicurity model in Brussels. They hope to show other European countries there is a path to increased growth to be inspired by.
"Flexicurity more luck than planning"
The Danish flexicurity model is more luck than strategic planning, says Kongshøj Madsen, professor of labour market research. He is optimistic, and thinks the Danish tradition of combining flexibility and work security is the model which secures the best development.
Norway pushes ahead with boardroom equality
1 July 2005 was the deadline for the Norwegian business world to voluntarily make sure there is at least 40 per cent of each gender in company boardrooms. Only 17 per cent of companies have managed that. For the others, the demand will no longer be voluntary. It will be the law.

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