About the project

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected all aspects of society and triggered both a humanitarian crisis and widespread economic disruption. In Spain, companies faced the challenge of quickly adapting their business models to survive the downturn caused by the pandemic. The impact on workers and consumers has been significant, mirroring the experiences of other European countries.

Spain, being heavily dependent on tourism (14.3% of GDP), suffered particularly due to COVID-19 restrictions. A substantial percentage (38%) of companies in the tourism and hospitality sector closed in 2020. Additionally, the Spanish economy relies heavily on small and medium-sized enterprises (47% of the workforce), making it more vulnerable to economic downturns.

Predictions suggest a substantial decline in Spain’s GDP in 2020, with recovery rates in 2021 and beyond remaining uncertain. Portugal faced similar challenges, with a high percentage of enterprises reporting a decrease in turnover and a notable impact on employment.

Globally, 436 million enterprises in hard-hit sectors, particularly wholesale and retail trade, face serious disruption. More than half of these enterprises are at high risk, with over 70% of global employment in retail trade and nearly 60% in accommodation and food services being vulnerable.

Given these challenges, there is a pressing need for effective policies to accelerate economic recovery while safeguarding lives and livelihoods. The involvement and participation of workers are deemed crucial for recovery. The pandemic has necessitated fundamental changes in the labor force, and collaboration between employees and employers is seen as essential for finding optimal solutions. The project outlined in the text aims to establish effective mechanisms for information, consultation, and participation, involving cross-sectoral trade unions and employers’ organizations from seven EU member states and candidate countries. The goal is to address the impact of COVID-19, facilitate communication, and prevent disputes by identifying and implementing best practices for workers’ involvement in decision-making.