Social dialogue and lifelong learning in new EU member states: ‘reform fit’ in Latvia

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Series Details Vol.18, No.1, February 2008, p79-88
Publication Date February 2008
ISSN 0958-9287
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Abstract: Vocational education and training (VET) is regarded by EU policymakers as crucial to creating a high-skill workforce capable of adapting to European and global demands in an intensified competitive environment. It is part of the so-called Copenhagen Process, in which social dialogue between employers and employees is seen as an important means of realizing policy. However, many of the new member states from the Eastern European countries which joined the European Union in 2004 have only weak forms of social dialogue. Moreover, the prevailing neo-liberal environment in many post-communist new member states undermines `reform fit' between broad European social policy goals and narrower domestic agendas. This article explores the resulting problems in social dialogue with regard to VET in the new member states, using Latvia as a case-study.

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