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Prof Williams sees European-level successes in tackling undeclared economy


A series of high-profile keynotes means that combating the cash-in-hand economy is now close to the top of the European Commission’s policy agenda.

Following two high-level European conferences in April, held in Bucharest and Dubrovnik, Sheffield University Management School’s Professor Colin Williams has recently presented two further talks at European seminars in Brussels.

On 21 May, a seminar was held for the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion on developing policy towards self-employment. Given the greater likelihood of the self-employed participating in off-the-books work, Prof Williams provided an advisory talk on how the European Commission could join-up its policy on self-employment with its policy on tackling undeclared work.

Later in May, Prof Williams gave a keynote presentation to Copa-Cogeca, the united voice of farmers and agri-cooperatives in the EU, representing 28million farmers. This conference was designed to tackle undeclared work in the agricultural sector and included representatives from the National Farmers Union in the UK, FNSEA in France and their equivalents from 20 other European member states.

The European Parliament is currently engaged in a legislative initiative to establish a European Platform for Combating Undeclared Work which, if approved, will be established by the end of 2015. In 2010, Professor Williams conducted an evaluation of the feasibility and design of this EU Platform for the European Commission.

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