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Academy of European Law - Historical Archives of the European Union - European University Institute

First Meeting of ShaPE’s EUI Project Team with External Key Interlocutors

The inter-disciplinary project ‘Social Partners as shapers and makers of Social Europe’ (ShaPE) brings together academics, practitioners and archivists to examine the role of social partners and EU institutions in making social Europe. The EUI team met with external key interlocutors on 24 November 2023.

14 December 2023 | Research


A new European Commission-funded project, ShaPE, seeks to highlight the actors determining the contours of social Europe and how they have done so with a particular focus on the role of trade unions and employer organisations (social partners) in EU Treaty and lawmaking. This has lessons for how the EU, its social partners, and the EU Member States can develop employment and social policies considering current challenges: the green, digital and demographic transitions, the EU’s 'open strategic autonomy’ and resilience. The project is carried out by the EUI, University of Amsterdam and Université Catholique de Louvain, various research institutes, trade unions and employer organisations, and a set of partners from civil society.

Claire Kilpatrick, Professor of Law and co-Director of the Academy of European Law, is the project’s Principal Investigator. The ShaPE project team, which includes law and history scholars, archivists and representatives from EU-level employer organisations and trade unions, brings together a unique and consciously multidisciplinary set of perspectives to produce academic analysis of EU Treaty and lawmaking, a map of available archival sources and a digital exhibition, as well as practice-oriented proposals to update the EU Treaties to enable the social partners to meet future challenges. “The project will valorise existing historical sources held at the HAEU and across Europe," historian and team member Jacopo Cellini remarked , "and will provide scholars from different academic backgrounds with new material to broaden our understanding of social Europe”.

On 24 November 2023, the EUI’s ShaPE project team met for the first time with external key interlocutors, like Philippe Pochet, former Director of the European Trade Union Institute, to strategize their contribution from the project’s start in January 2024. Beyond the past foundations of social Europe, the project is also forward-looking, as explained by Professor Kilpatrick. “By learning more about what shaped the roles of the social partners in Treaty-making and lawmaking to date, we consider what roles they could play in meeting new EU challenges”.


Image, from left: Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Claire Kilpatrick, Jacopo Cellini, Agnès Brouet and Philippe Pochet

Last update: 12 April 2024

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