The Project

Title: Intergenerational Bargaining: towards integrated bargaining for younger ánd older workers in EU countries (iNGenBar)

Duration: December 2013 –December 2014

Co-ordination: University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced labour Studies (AIAS)

Research partners: 6 (see the page 'research partners')

Letters of Commitment:

TCO The Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees

AWVN, the largest employers' association in the Netherlands

FNV, the largest trade union federation in the Netherlands

Financed by: European Commission; DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion; Social Dialogue, Industrial Relations (VS/2013/0353).


  • To analyse the challenges that employers and trade unions face in simultaneously improving the employment opportunities for younger and older workers through collective bargaining in EU countries;
  • To provide more detailed insights into experiences and aspirations in intergenerational bargaining at the national, sectoral, regional and company level.
  • To develop approaches and pathways for joined-up bargaining for younger and older workers in EU countries.
  • To provide insights into the ways that the prohibition of age-discrimination might interfere with initiatives and measures for intergenerational bargaining and age-related regulations regarding younger and older workers.
  • To disseminate and discuss the findings and lessons with employers (’associations) and trade unions in the six countries involved, and around the whole EU (incl. EU-level) to promote transnational learning.

Targeted groups/sectors

Trade unions, employers' associations and companies are involved in the research actions, discussions and dissemination of the findings.


This project is innovative because of its focus on the integration and synergies of bargaining for younger and older workers, as substitutes for isolated approaches specific to just one age group. Another innovative aspect of this project is the counter-positioning of age-related regulations and the discussion on age discrimination in Europe.

The research actions are highly explorative. ‘Intergenerational bargaining’ is not an established concept in the academic literature or in the professional fields of industrial relations. All researchers in the six EU countries follow a common analytical approach in which cross-national variety in collective bargaining practices between the EU member states is respected. The iNGenBar project follows the following joint definition of ‘intergenerational bargaining’: "the integration of policies and strategies for younger and older workers through collective bargaining and social dialogue".

Expected results

  • Better understanding of the relationship between bargaining for youths and bargaining for older workers, and insights into the opportunities for and barriers to intergenerational bargaining.
  • Awareness raising and sensitizing reports at the national levels and at the EU level that will be disseminated and discussed with the social partners in the six countries in the final main conference in Brussels.
  • Identification of good practices in order to establish and/or improve intergenerational bargaining by the social partners.
  • A comparative and prospective study to develop ‘pathways’ of intergenerational bargaining in Europe.

Implementation of the action

In six EU countries - France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom - experienced researchers will analyze, in their own national contexts, the opportunities for and barriers to collective bargaining from an intergenerational perspective. Their findings will be disseminated in national reports, each of which will address the following issues:

i) analyses of available statistics in the national developments of employment and unemployment among youths and older workers, and analyses of the current debates among the social partners to combine issues and bargaining for youths with those for older workers.

ii) three (best) case studies of collective bargaining practices between employers and trade unions will be explored in more detail. These case studies will consist of bargaining and/or collective regulations on the national, sectoral, regional or company level (with involvement of trade unions). The researchers will select the most innovative, promising, and/or concrete collective bargaining practises and discussions between employers’(associations) and trade unions regarding the linkages that are made between bargaining for younger and older workers. To gather insights in the contexts, strategies, goals, approaches, and regulations – and if possible, their implementations – the case studies will include interviews with employers and the trade unions that are involved, as well as analysing relevant policy reports and collective agreements. Based on these (good practice) case studies, conclusions will be drawn about favourable conditions and barriers to intergenerational bargaining.

iii) policy recommendations on the opportunities – and combatting existing barriers – with regards to intergenerational bargaining by the social partners in the countries involved.

In a social-legal study at EU level, two experienced experts in European labour law will investigate the ways in which legal and policy debate on age-discrimination at the EU-level hinder or enable intergenerational bargaining. In recent years, much of the case law from the Court of Justice of the EU in the non-discrimination field has evolved around age discrimination, and particularly old-age discrimination. In close coordination with each other, both researchers will analyse the implications of the recent debates and legislative/case law developments on discrimination for intergenerational bargaining and the introduction of age-related regulation for younger and older workers.

The researchers of AIAS will write a comparative and prospective study for Europe on the logics, potentials and possibilities towards simultaneous and integrated bargaining for the youth and for older workers in EU-countries.

AIAS will also organise the Final Conference in Brussels.

Disclaimer excluding Commission responsibility
This communication related to the action iNGenBar is made by the beneficiaries and it reflects only the author’s view. The Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.