Responsible restructuring : projects and resources

Restructuring (responsible restructuring) has been at the core of a recent project dedicated to Crisis, social dialogue and renewals in such situations (RENEWALS). The project, piloted by the French “laboratory of the future” ASTREES, has been oriented towards the role of social partners in building innovative initiatives and measures within restructuring processes.

Main thematics have been covered through these initiatives:

Anticipation of change;

Accompanying work and employment evolutions;

Individual measures such as professional transitions.

Both restructuring in SMEs and in public services, have been included and taken into account in the RENEWALS project, as regards responsible restructuring. It is crucial to understand the link between restructuring situations’ “good management” and local contexts: project initiatives described situations in the French Loire region, in Italian Lumbardy, but also in Portuguese town, or in Bulgarian post offices.

Responsible restructuring is linked with the anticipation of change and with the management of professional transitions, in companies, in administrative organisations or in public policies. But the role of unions, of employers associations of sectorial organisations, have been precisely analysed in some of the case studies: there is no recipe for a responsible restructuring process. But European countries show transferable cases and ideas for action.

The EU has a comprehensive legal framework for regulating the way in which social dialogue within companies and groups of companies should address, amongst other issues, anticipation of change and restructuring events. EU institutions use the Structural Funds, and in particular the European Social Fund, to support economic adaptation, labour market transitions and social protection of workers made redundant or at risk of redundancy. The EU has also “created a specific instrument, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), to help workers who have lost their jobs”. Moreover, the social partners and the Commission have launched several specific initiatives in the field of anticipating and managing change and restructuring.

The latest, the January 2012 Green Paper on Restructuring (see our welcome page (1)), has identified successful practices and policies in relation to anticipation and restructuring that were applied during the worst years of the crisis.

(1) The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted the report by Alejandro CERCAS (S&D, ES) with recommendations to the Commission on information and consultation of workers, anticipation and management of restructuring.

Our current projects

In its’ current project “Crisis, Social Dialogue and Renewals in restructuring” (2012-2013), co-funded by the European Commission, the IRENE network concentrate on restructuring during the crisis:

• for SME’s
• for public services.

Our previous projects



HIRES Public

Mire Restructuring