Month: April 2021

Artificial Intelligence and social rights: a first assessment

The EC’s recent proposal for AI regulation is the first of its kind in the world. It is an excellent base to shape a domain that opens enormous opportunities. But the door for abuses and wide interpretation by some member states, as well as by illiberal regimes worldwide, is not entirely closed yet. And against …

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The question that haunts President Joe Biden: can the US deliver on climate?

President Biden has placed climate change at the centre of US domestic and foreign policy. Yet the wide partisan divide on the issue in the United States threatens to hinder the efforts of his administration to increase global climate ambitions. The Earth Day Summit will provide an important opportunity for the United States to demonstrate …

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Turning the clock forward

The Covid pandemic has drawn new attention to the key importance of personal services for household survival, ranging from food delivery to care services. But all too often such services are provided by precarious workers, often employed via online platforms. Platform work is widespread across Europe and growing rapidly, research funded by the European Foundation …

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‘Old’ rules and protections for the ‘new’ world of work

The labour status of people working in the online platform economy is key to their socio-economic protection. But it has proven a difficult issue for courts and regulators. The EU is considering introducing a ‘rebuttable presumption of employment’ to help address this problem. What could this entail exactly?  For some time now, one of the …

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“Like a boss” – management by algorithm is taking over at the workplace

All managerial functions are now entrusted to algorithm-powered tools, raising large expectations and new risks. This trend is not confined to platform work. No economic sector is immune to the adoption of such systems. The EU institutions are engaged in a promising process that may lead to new regulatory solutions, but social dialogue and collective …

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Can you hear me now?

Resentment and realisation can take many forms. Have the different generations learnt anything from the pandemic? Will we change the way we look at life and our relationships after Covid-19? It is the first year of university for my nineteen-year-old son. No face-to-face tuition, freshers’ week, parties, or club meetings. Hard to meet new people …

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Anti-government protests enter the parliament

Parliamentary elections took place in Bulgaria on 4 April. They were marked by the Covid-19 pandemic not only because of the additional precautionary measures taken in the polling stations on the election day but also because of the third wave of increasing infections and hospitalisations during the campaign period. This third wave led to a …

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Bulgarian elections 2021: checkmate!

Like many other European countries, on 4 April Bulgaria faced the challenge of its parliamentary elections in the pandemic times of Covid-19. While it is noteworthy that for the first time in ten years the Bulgarian parliament managed to escape early elections, the way the elections were to be held raised many concerns, due to …

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The Bulgarian parliamentary elections of 4 April and the quest for a new social contract

The big winners of the 2021 parliamentary election in Bulgarian were three new parties, that will now enterparliament and that had championed last summer’s “Things Can’t Go on Like This” protests. The ‘systemic’ parties were punished, with prime minister Borissov’s GERB taking first place but with insufficient votes to form a government, thus opening the …

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Bulgarian elections 2021: shattered status quo and the need to revive the left

Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis, Bulgarians have firmly proved they want a political change by electing six parties to the National Assembly. Corruption, fear and protests influenced the election results on 4 April and cast a shadow over the prospects of a stable government. In the summer of 2020, Bulgarians marched the streets …

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