Out of the shadows: SUMS contributes to high-level conference on combating undeclared work in the EU
In Dubrovnik in late April 2015, Deputy Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials from 24 European countries met to discuss how they could cooperate to tackle the undeclared economy.
Professor Colin Williams from Sheffield University Management School was invited by the host, Milanka Opacic, Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia, to provide the keynote address on approaches towards tackling undeclared work in the European Union.
The outcome, expressed well by Helena Dalli, Minister of Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties in the Maltese government, was a raised awareness that besides complementing the traditional ‘sticks’ approach that punishes non-compliance with more ‘carrots’ to reward compliance, there was also a need for introducing awareness campaigns on the consequences of undeclared work targeted at enterprises, workers and the general public.
Summarising the view of many countries, Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Ivaiol Kalfin stated: “Promotion of regulated labour relations between Bulgaria and other EU and non-EU countries is a priority of the government”. The European Commission representative present, Jader Cane, urged governments to make full use of the European Social Fund to undertake coordinated responses.
Professor Colin Williams is currently coordinating a Marie Curie project entitled ‘Out of the shadows: developing capacities and capabilities for tackling undeclared work in Bulgaria, Croatia and FYR Macedonia’, which is seeking to raise understanding among South-East European governments about the need to transcend the ‘sticks’ and ‘carrots’ approach and to tackle it more indirectly by introducing greater awareness amongst citizens of the consequences of undeclared work so that they self-regulate themselves, rather than need to be forced to be compliant through enforcement authorities.
See the website for this project here.