PG students lead conference on the European Social Model

PG law students from Edinburgh and the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Germany have joined forces to evaluate the state of the European social model and the field of European Labour Law after the Eurozone debt crisis at a student-led conference held at Edinburgh Law School.

Since the crisis, European social policy initiatives have been put on hold, and the removal of social and employment protections were perceived as a necessary part of the package to rehabilitate the market economies of struggling Eurozone countries.

This conference sought to examine whether the European social model can be re-invigorated, and in particular, to identify the areas of labour law where there is scope for improvement in social standards.

Indeed, eminent academic commentators in the field of EU social policy and labour law (Barnard, 2014) have identified the inherently re-generative capacity of the European social model. This joint conference explored the scope for the currently moribund European social model to be reinvigorated in the areas of employment dismissal law, minimum wage laws, equal pay laws and general anti-discrimination laws.

Papers were also presented on the lack of a uniform personal scope of application of European labour laws, and the current state of play in relation to the gender pay gap in the EU and whether EU equal pay laws can be reformed to address that gap.

A second leg of the student-led conference is planned to run in Ingolstadt, Germany in July 2015, subject to funding.

Professor Maximilian Fuchs was the academic sponsor from the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, and Mr David Cabrelli from Edinburgh Law School.

Find out more about postgraduate study at Edinburgh Law School here.