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Jean Monnet Chair in EU Labour Law - SESaMe




The roadmap envisaged by the EU Commission in its Action plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) relies on a strong commitment to revamp a European Social Model which is truly sustainable.

Particularly with the submission of the Member states’ resilience and recovery plans, the long-term stability of social models across the EU becomes pivotal. Only a Sustainable European Social Model will thus constitute the entrance door to accompany societal transformations and grant shared prosperity and rights to European citizens.

The Jean Monnet Chair on a Sustainable European SociAl ModEl (SESAME) aims to deepen the understanding and public awareness of the main constituent elements of the European Social Model and the function of EU law and policy in their sustainable advancement. It relies on solid constitutional bases, provided by Article 3 TEU and Articles 9 and 151 TFEU, and enhances the idea of combining economic growth with social cohesion, high living standards and good working conditions. Severely weakened by years of financial austerity and labour market flexibility, and further strained by the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Social Model needs an overall relaunch, to adequately respond to future economic and societal challenges.

Luca Ratti, Associate Professor in European and comparative labour law, will carry out will carry out the SESaME Jean Monnet Chair activities at the Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Economic and Finance of the University of Luxembourg for the years 2022 to 2025. 


Objective 1: enhance the scientific analysis of the European Social Model to facilitate academic understanding of the consequences of EU social policies. This objective aims to evaluate the scope of EU labour law and social policy as well as the elements introduced by the EPSR, such as the right to adequate minimum wages and the sustainability of pension systems.

Objective 2: identify the European Social Model’s core messages in a clear and understandable coherent manner.

Objective 3: circulate the main messages on the sustainability of the European Social Model in private, public, and professional contexts. The addressees of this action will include policy makers, stakeholders and social partners, civil society associations, students, and ordinary citizens.


The SESaMe project will assess the sustainability of the European Social Model adopting three main aspects thereof as distinct testbeds:

  1. The regulation of dismissal protection. How sustainable is a European Social Model which allows (or even encourages) its Member States to lower the protections against unfair dismissal?
  2. The regulation of wages, particularly minimum wages across the EU. How the establishment of such minimum harmonization regime on wages will contribute to foster a sustainable European Social Model?
  3. The regulation of social security entitlements across the EU, particularly healthcare and pensions. Will the extension of social security protections be sustainable in the medium and long run? 


The SESaME Jean Monnet Chair will organise 9 public lectures (3/year) on “Sustainability and the European Social Model”, where invited speakers will discuss with the Chairholder on a number of topics such as: the notion of sustainable work and its dimensions; the role of labour law in the crossroads between economic, environmental and social objectives; work-life balance as a problem of sustainability; life-cycle, labour law and social security; decent work and environmental sustainability; labour and environmental sustainability; the role of collective bargaining towards a more sustainable economic model.


A reading room will be created, with the aim of letting users to familiarize with SDGs and in particular sustainability in the field of labour law and industrial relations.

Furthermore, an open access series of video podcasts, primarily dedicated to students and interested public, which will also serve as a learning tool, freely available online.

SESaMe Video Podcast #1: Towards a More Sustainable European Social Model

Prof. Luca Ratti, holder of the Jean Monnet Chair in European Labour Law at the University of Luxembourg, speaks with Prof. Tonia Novitz from the University of Bristol about sustainability in a labour law context, including how the 17 UN sustainability goals relate to labour law issues, current and future research topics, as well as challenges and opportunities for mainstreaming sustainability discussions into the teaching of labour law.


“Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.”



Lecture Energy Transition: A Labour Law Retrospective
Speaker: Prof. Paolo TOMASSETTI, University of Milan and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at Centre de droit social, Université Aix-Marseille
Place: University of Luxembourg
Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance,
Weicker Building, Room B001
4 rue Alphonse Weicker
L-2721 Luxembourg
Event date: Monday, 21 November 2022, 12:00 - 14:00
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Speaker: Prof. Consuelo CHACARTEGUI, University Pompeu Fabra Barcelona
Place: Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance
Weicker Building, Room C005
4 rue Alphonse Weicker
L- 2721 Luxembourg
Event date: Friday, 21 October 2022, 12:00 - 14:00
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Jean Monnet Inaugural Lecture
Place: Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance
Weicker Building, Room B001
4 rue Alphonse Weicker
L- 2721 Luxembourg
Event date: Friday, 30 September 2022, 12:00 - 14:00
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