Negotiate Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe
Young man at job interview. Photo: colourbox

Colloquium on different policy responses to youth unemployment

by Greta Juul

On January 9th, the Negotiate-researchers Lisa Steinberg, Marie-Luise Assmann and Irene Dingeldey from Germany organised a colloquium on different policy responses to youth unemployment in Europe.

The financial and economic crisis had a higher impact on youth unemployment rates albeit with differences between the countries. While youth unemployment rates in the Southern European countries are very high, Germany is less affected. Nonetheless, also in Germany many young people suffer from difficulties in finding a job or apprenticeship place. Consequently, it is hard for young people to establish a livelihood, become financially independent and develop prospects for the future. In 2013, the European Commission launched the Youth Guarantee (YG) and member states made a commitment to ensure that young people below 25 years “receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within a period of four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education” (Council of the European Union 2013). Several institutions are important for supporting the transition from school to work of young people. With examples from Greece, Spain and Germany, the colloquium outlined the respective problem pressure as well as the different policy responses when implementing the Youth Guarantee.

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NEGOTIATE Final Conference: A range of recommendations to strengthen European and national efforts to combat early job insecurity

by Greta Juul

On 4 and 5 December 2017 the NEGOTIATE project’s final conference titled ‘Scarred Youth – What can the EU do?’ took place in Norway House in Brussels. The two-day programme included different sessions and offered high level discussions with over 130 researchers, policymakers, civil society and youth who exchanged views and policy recommendations on how to tackle youth unemployment and help young people overcome the consequences of the economic crisis in Europe.                                                         

In the era of “flexible” labour markets, it is evident that the phenomenon of job insecurity and youth unemployment is present with varying intensity and comes in different forms in each of the studied countries. What is clear however is that the lasting effects and ideological disappointment of long-term unemployment negatively affect or even scar youngsters across the continent?





Max Uebe, European Commission               Ambassador Ingrid Schulerud        

Norway’s Ambassador, Ingrid Schulerud opened the conference by welcoming all the participants to Norway House, before Max Uebe from DG Employment at the European Commission underlined the importance of findings ways to strengthen the efforts to combat early job insecurity. Corinna Amting from the European Commission’s Research Executive Agency underlined the importance of NEGOTIATE and praised the collaboration between the three European projects STYLE, NEGOTIATE and EXCEPT.

Tanya Basarab, Thomas Beaujean, Ignacio Doreste, Katarina Sichel








On the first day, the interactive debate centred on two highly visible topics, namely marginalised youth with very little access to the labour market and highly educated youth with no job opportunities, and how the Youth Guarantee should respond to better monitor and improve the situation for youth in Europe. After researchers had introduced the key topics, panels of experts and stakeholders and members of the audience discussed the issues in more detail.







On Tuesday the three thematically related European projects NEGOTIATE, STYLE and EXCEPT focused on the policy recommendations derived from the different analyses carried out by the researchers involved in the projects (the reader can find an overview here). Markku Markkula (EPP), Vice-President of the Committee of the Regions, presented a territorial perspective on how to support efforts to reduce early job insecurity. The session brought together Brando Benifei and Jens Nilsson, Members of the European Parliament from S&D and Conny Reuter, Secretary of the SOLIDAR Foundation, ensuring a political as well as a civil society perspective in the debate. The speakers shared their views on what the EU can do to come to the aid of scarred youth in Europe. They considered the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative as steps in the right direction, but in need of further strengthening.

Jacqueline O`Reilly, Conny Reuter, Marge Unt, Brando Benifei                                    








Markku Markkula, European Committee
of the Regions

Successful implementation, however, comes down to what actions one is able to make at the regional and local levels. For instance, it may be that to improve structurally the current situation for youth, we need a change of mind-sets. More concretely, institutions should be better equipped to accommodate the needs of the most disadvantaged youth in Europe and those who feel that there are no decent prospects. Speakers underlined that one can only address the need for structural reforms and the creation of quality jobs through targeted public investments. The dual system, with its apprenticeships and other forms of vocational education and training (VET), could be a possible model to explore further. While one needs to take the diversity within the EU into account, the EU should seek best practices that are applicable and relevant in different settings and therefore worth social investment.





As a conclusion of the NEGOTIATE project, Edward Elgar will publish two joint volumes presenting findings from the project by the end of 2018. These will be published open access, which means that everyone will be able to access them free of charge. The first book will assess the problems, risk factors and policies related to job insecurity and labour market exclusion of young people. The second book will touch upon the experiences of early job insecurity and how it relates to scarring, resilience and the wellbeing of European youth. Next spring NEGOTIATE partners will meet with the European Commission both for a final evaluation of the project and to consider how the Commission may take into account project findings in their future work.

The photos of the final conference can be found here.

The programme of the Conference.


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The 9 overarching goals of NEGOTIATE

by Christer Hyggen

Over a period of 36 months the NEGOTIATE participants will ...

Over a period of 36 months the NEGOTIATE participants will:

  1. Analyse how adverse labour market conditions for young adults affect their scope for active agency on the pathway to adulthood.
  2. Examine young adults’ own perceptions of job prospects and their scope for negotiating their position.
  3. Map the general context in which young people in Europe form their work expectations and negotiate labour market integration and transition from youth to adulthood.
  4. Improve our understanding of the mechanisms leading to cross-country variations in the individual consequences of early job insecurity.
  5. Gain comparative knowledge about the long-term consequences of young people’s job insecurity through analyses of the life courses of older birth cohorts.
  6. Gain insights into employers’ evaluations and risk-assessments of young job applicants in different policy contexts across Europe.
  7. Deliver new knowledge about the conditions under which early job insecurity has the least adverse outcomes for subjective and objective well-being.
  8. Assess the coordination of policy measures and strategies to strengthen young people’s negotiating position in labour market transitions, integrating the horizontal and vertical dimensions of coordination in the context of European multi-level governance.
  9. Inform the public and facilitate policy learning about factors that foster societal resilience at national and European levels.
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Tools on desk

Conceptual and methodological innovation

by Christer Hyggen

The project is informed by the concepts resilience, capability, active agency and negotiation.

The project is informed by the concepts resilience, capability, active agency and negotiation. These are combined with methodological innovation (life course interviews and vignette experiments) and cross-cutting policy analyses. In sum, this will help improve our understanding of existing variations in the consequences of early job insecurity and labour market exclusion within and across countries and across social groups.

Read more in the descriptions of Work package 4, work package 5 and work package 7.

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NEGOTIATE short facts

by Christer Hyggen

Scientific coordinator: Professor Bjorn Hvinden, NOVA Norwegian Social Research ...

europe-155191_1280Project title:

NEGOTIATE – Negotiating early job insecurity and labour market exclusion in Europe

Short title: NEGOTIATE – Overcoming early job-insecurity in Europe

Project no.:

Grant Agremeent no. 649395 (Research and Innovation Action)

Funding source:

Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (call H2020-YOUNG-SOCIETY-2014)


36 months from March 2015


EUR 2,476,609 from the European Commission and CHF 523,892 from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation in Switzerland

Scientific coordinator:


Bjørn Hvinden

Professor Bjorn Hvinden, NOVA Norwegian Social Research, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

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