Corporate as well as sectoral restructuring is a continuous feature of economic life resulting from technological progress, digitalisation and innovation, as well as societal and political changes. Although the EU has in the past undergone phases of accelerated restructuring in specific sectors (e.g. steel and textiles) or national economies (e.g. the transformation process in Central and Eastern Europe), change since 2008 is different. The crisis ended a phase of net job creation and resulted in a sharp and long-lasting rise in unemployment, especially in countries on the margins of the EU.
The ETUC is not against change, but a more integrated regulatory framework is needed to ensure restructuring takes place in a coherent, fair and responsible way all over Europe. Trade unions want to play a proactive role in anticipating, negotiating and managing restructuring.