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CEPS Ideas Lab 2024: GI-NI Workshop

In a pivotal event that highlighted the resilience and emerging challenges of the European labor market, the GI-NI session titled “From unemployment struggles to labour market shortages?” took place at the CEPS Ideas Lab 2024, in Brussels.

CEPS Ideas Lab has long been at the forefront of fostering innovative discussions on Europe’s most pressing issues, facilitating a unique intersection of policymakers, industry leaders, and academics. This session, part of a broader initiative to explore economic and social challenges in Europe, stood out as a testament to the Ideas Lab’s commitment to deepening the understanding of labor market dynamics in a changing world.

The GI-NI session brought together distinguished experts to discuss the burgeoning challenges in EU labor markets and beyond. Despite global economic hurdles, employment in the European Union hit record levels in 2022, signalling a significant shift from battling high unemployment to now addressing labor and skill shortages across various sectors. This phenomenon raised critical questions about the underlying causes of these shortages, their permanency, and the necessary policies to tackle these challenges.

Featured Speakers:

  • Malina Jankowska, Digital Public Sector Director at PwC
  • Michael Handel, Professor at Northeastern University
  • Majda Seghir, Researcher at Le CNAM
  • Ciresica Feyer, Deputy Head of Unit at DG REFORM of the European Commission
  • Ekkehard Ernst, Chief of the Macroeconomic Policy and Jobs Unit at the ILO
  • Cinzia Alcidi, Head of Economic Policy at CEPS

Among the distinguished participants of the session, Majda Seghir, Cinzia Alcidi, and Michael Handel stand out not only for their individual contributions to the dialogue on labor market challenges but also as members of the GINI research team and the Scientific Advisory Board. This project, which has delved into the nuances of labor market shifts and policy impacts within the European Union, has been supported through funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Their involvement brings a wealth of research-based insights and analytical depth to the discussions, highlighting the critical role of comprehensive, evidence-based research in understanding and addressing the evolving labor market dynamics in Europe.


Key Insights from the Session: Despite facing global economic challenges, including the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic slowdown triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union witnessed a remarkable upturn in employment rates in 2022. This development has shifted the focus towards understanding the root causes of labor and skill shortages, questioning their long-term impact, and discussing strategic policy interventions necessary for addressing these emerging challenges.

About CEPS Ideas Lab 2024: The CEPS Ideas Lab 2024, a beacon for progressive discussions on Europe’s complex issues, successfully hosted the insightful session “From unemployment struggles to labour market shortages?” in Brussels. The Lab has consistently served as a critical platform, bridging the gap between policymakers, industry leaders, and academics, fostering a collaborative environment to tackle some of Europe’s most pressing challenges. The recent session underscored this commitment, drawing attention to the dramatic shift in the EU labor market from the long-standing battle against high unemployment to addressing the current challenges of labor and skill shortages in various sectors.

Check the full programme here.