clerk and worker shaking hands

Project: Trust in Relations between Unions and Employers in Europe (True Europe)

The purpose of the project is to explore and explain the bases, forms, and effects of trust in social partner relations at both local firm level and sector level.

Project information

Project manager
Bengt Larsson
Other project members
Ylva Ulfsdotter Eriksson, Olof Reichenberg, Glenn Sjöstrand, Linnaeus University; Marta Kahancová, Monika Martišková, Adam Sumichrast, CELSI, Slovakia
Margaret Heffernan, Aurora Trif, Eugene Hickland, Lisa van der Werff, DCU, Ireland
Alina Popescu, Irina Ion, ASE, Romania
Mihail Arandarenko, Dragan Aleksic, UB-FE, Serbia
Inga Blaziene, Ramune Guobaite, Julija Moskvina, LCSS, Lithuania
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University
Central European Labour Studies Institute (CELSI), Slovakia
Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland
Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE), Romania
University of Belgrade (UB-FE), Serbia
The Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences (LCSS), Lithuania

Funded by the European Union

European Commission, project 101126483
1 Nov 2023–1 Nov 2025
Sociology (Department of Social Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences)

More about the project

Research indicates that trust between employer and employee representatives may have beneficial effects for both companies and employees. However, there is a lack of systematic comparative research in the EU on the mechanisms and outcomes of trust in different industrial relations systems.

The purpose of the comparative European project True Europe is to identify and connect the determinants of trust with the functioning and outcomes of trust in social partner relations. We aim to explore and explain the bases, forms, and effects of trust in social partner relations at both local firm level and at sector level.

The project is designed as a systematic comparison of three sectors (Metal, Transport, and Banking and Finance) in countries with different industrial relations systems. A mixed methods approach will be adopted, integrating qualitative studies in 7 membership countries and one candidate country (AT, CZ, IE, LT, SE, SK, RO, RS), with quantitative analyses of large datasets, making it possible to produce generalizable empirical results.

The project will focus on the present state and development of trust in employment and industrial relations relating to the areas of:

  1. Digitalization and the use of new technologies at the workplace.
  2. Skills and training.
  3. Occupational health and safety.

This allows an understanding of the role of trust also in countries with underdeveloped wage bargaining, where topics beyond wages can serve as drivers of trust development and in turn strengthen bargaining in the long run.

The project is led from Linnaeus University.