21 March 2024

Research on the Danish labour market can continue with new five-year grant


FAOS – The Employment Relations Research Centre has received a grant of DKK 34 million for a new five-year research programme with six research areas. This will enable the Centre to continue its research into the challenges facing the Danish labour market in the coming years.

Photo: Pexels / Ketut Subiyanto

The renewal of collective agreements in both the private and public labour market has always been the core focus for FAOS - The Employment Relations Research Centre’s research. This focus will be maintained in a new five-year research programme entitled 'The Danish model under increased politicisation, Europeanisation and digitalisation'. However, At the same time a number of new challenges will be examined.

In the new programme, FAOS, which will continue to be based at the Department of Sociology at the University of Copenhagen, has selected six research areas to focus on in the coming years. Each area will form the framework for a number of research projects that can shed new light on the development and challenges of the Danish model in a time of increased politicisation, Europeanisation and digitalisation.

The six research areas are:

  • Collective bargaining systems
  • Labour market organisations
  • Negotiations and co-operation at workplace level
  • The revitalisation of Social Europe
  • Digitalisation, flexible employment reforms and security
  • Social partners, labour supply and future skills needs

Increased politicisation of labour market regulation
Especially since the current government's cancellation of Great Prayer Day and wage increases for specific groups in the public sector, increased politicisation has been on the agenda. This has led to debate about how far the negotiation autonomy extends, which risks weakening the collective agreement model in the long term.

The many EU initiatives on the labour market in recent years also represent a politicisation of the Danish model. In particular, the directive on minimum wages has sparked strong Danish reactions and raised the fundamental question of how far the EU can go when it comes to wage conditions in the member states. There is broad support for the EU among Danish employer organisations and trade unions, but there is also frustration that the efforts in Brussels often become defensive missions when, for example, proposed directives and court rulings clash with Danish labour market regulation.

A better understanding of European policy processes is therefore crucial, including knowledge on who the driving actors are and what motivates them. As well as knowledge about the consequences of European regulation for the Danish model.

Increasing digitalisation is another area that has already affected or even changed the working lives of many Danes. The development of digital platforms is challenging the traditional collective agreements, and we have only seen the beginning of how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect the labour market in the future. Which jobs will disappear? How much will it change job functions? These are some of the questions that FAOS will be looking into as part of the new research programme.


Mikkel Krogh
Information Coordinator
FAOS - Employment Relations Research Centre
Department of Sociology
E-mail: mk@faos.dk 
Phone: +45 35 33 56 06


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