Conversations on Europe: European Year of Skills: What's the future of labor in Europe?

Event information

For this first Conversations on Europe of Fall semester, join us and the University of Pittsburgh for an interactive virtual roundtable discussion on the state of labor and the security of employment in Europe.

The EU declared 2023 the Year of Skills to bring attention to the challenges the contemporary workforce faces and to the European responses. It is indeed a period of transition in labor, with no little unrest. The Yellow Vest strikes are perhaps the best known of the strikes that have taken place recently in Europe. This Conversation on Europe considers the state of labor and the security of employment. In conversation with our panelists, we will consider labor struggles, the disruption of historical industries, the insecurity caused by inflation, energy scarcity, and AI. We will consider the future in Europe of the developing culturally diverse workforce? And we will hear about EU level initiatives to develop skilled workers for the 21st century.

Moderator: Randall Halle, Director, European Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh


  • Jane Gingrich, professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations, Magdalene College, University of Oxford
  • Stefan Olsson, Deputy Director General, European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
  • Jamie Woodcock, researcher based in London and a senior lecturer at the University of EssexUniversity of Essex


To view flyer, click here

REGISTRATION LINK: https:/pitt.zoom.uswebinar/register/WN_ws50TYoGRGu8MCy7Pw0ILg

About the Panelists:

Dr. Jane Gingrich is a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford (Magdalen College). Dr. Gingrich research interests involve comparative political economy and comparative social policy. In particular, I am interested in contemporary restructuring of the welfare state and the politics of institutional change more broadly. Dr. Gingrich is currently working on a project examining how the introduction of market-oriented reforms in state services has altered citizen and group attitudes toward government.

Stefan Olsson is a Swedish lawyer with degrees in international and tax law. Having joined the European Commission in 1996, he dealt with fundamental rights issues as well as social dialogue. He was assistant to the Director General for Employment and Social Affairs (2000-2005) before leading units dealing with social and employment law and policy as well as administrative affairs. As from 1 November 2015, he took up the position of Director in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. He was responsible for the management of the European Social Fund in Romania, Bulgaria, Malta, and Spain, for the implementation of the Employment Strategy through tools such as the Youth Guarantee, the Long-term Unemployment Recommendation, and the network of Public Employment Services, as well as legislative and policy issues relating to working conditions including health and safety at work. From 1 September 2022, he serves as Deputy Director-General responsible for policy issues in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.

Dr. Jamie Woodcock is a researcher based in London and a senior lecturer at the University of Essex. He is the author of books including Troublemaking (Verso, 2023), Employment (Routledge, 2023), The Fight Against Platform Capitalism (University of Westminster Press, 2021), The Gig Economy (Polity, 2019), Marx at the Arcade (Haymarket, 2019), and Working the Phones (Pluto, 2017). He is on the editorial board of Notes from Below and Historical Materialism.

Hosted by European Studies Center, a Jean Monnet European Union Center of Excellence at the University of Pittsburgh

Co-sponsors and participating centers: The Miami-Florida Jean Monnet Center of Excellence at Florida International University, the Center for European Studies at the University of Florida, the Center for European and Transatlantic Studies at Georgia Tech, and the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union