Belgium. The new “taxi plan” in Brussels: Towards the uberisation of the sector?
Anne DUFRESNE and Bruno BAURAIND
In Belgium, the conflict between Uber and the historical actors in private passenger transport, the taxi companies and the unions exploded in February 2014, with the establishment of the US company in the Brussels-Capital Region. At issue are the legal frameworks around Uber, against a backdrop of 27-year-old regulations which do not take account of recent technological advances.
Keywords: Belgium, private hire, taxi, Uber, “taxi plan”, Brussels.
Ireland. After the shock of the health crisis, rising tensions in the labour market
For over two years, the health crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic has placed conside-rable pressure on the Irish labour market. Fearing a deep and lasting crisis, in March 2020 the government implemented an unprecedented policy of income and employment support. This article shows that, while the pandemic measures may have brought a rapid end to the crisis, steep labour shortages affect both high- and low-wage sectors, causing pressures on the labour market to rise.
Keywords: Ireland, COVID-19, labour market, income support, employment sup-port, labour shortage.
United Kingdom. Retirement homes: the home of contradictions
In England, retirement homes provide an example of situations brought about by the interplay of policies implemented with varying objectives and timescales in mind. The pandemic has exacerbated the consequences of previous decisions with a rise in excess deaths and a degradation of living conditions. It has also aggravated a crisis of precarious staff with unrecognized qualifications. The government has no choice but to put forward a programme of renovation with modest means.
Keyboard: United Kingdom, COVID-19, retirement homes, privatisation, social protection.
Union European. New directive on adequate minimum wage
This article sets out the factors leading the European Union to develop a new direc-tive promoting “adequate” minimum wages, the main points appearing in this direc-tive and its expected or possible effects. While the content of the text is not particu-larly onerous, it may nevertheless generate momentum towards improving minimum wages, by allowing for clearer and more convergent setting of rises. The genuine willingness of European leaders to support minimum salaries is discussed, in light of minimum wage rises well below the high levels of inflation in many countries.
Keyboard: European Union, directive, “adequate” minimum wages, inflation.
International. The economy: A continuation of the war by other means
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is accelerating the geopolitical fragmentation of the global economy which started in the late 2000s. Western countries propose
the formation of an “Economic NATO” and the relocation of the business of their industry groups to “friendly” countries. China is being targeted as a “systemic rival”, both geopolitical and economic adversary. Economic competition and geopolitical rivalry remain closely intertwined against a backdrop of a global population hit by multidimensional crises.
Keywords: Economic NATO, relocation, war, global supply chains, sanctions.