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AE / The Economic Council of the Labour Movement (ECLM)

Address :
Reventlowsgade 14,1
1651 Kbh V   Copenhagen


Contact person :
Jes Vilhelmsen
Phone: +45 33 55 77 21
Fax: +45 33 31 30 41

Short description

The Economic Council of the Labour Movement (ECLM) was founded in 1936 as a forum for Danish trade union leaders and representatives of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to consult, discuss and agree on economic issues. The Council meets once a year and appoints an Executive Committee which meets monthly. The secretariat is a research institute and a think tank. It employs economists and secretarial personnel - altogether 15 people. Research and analyses of international, national, regional and sectoral developments in the economy carried out by the secretariat are generally regarded as sound, accurate and essential. The ECLM secretariat is funded by the Danish LO (Danish Confederation of Trade Unions) and large trade unions within the LO and the SDP (the budget contact is negotiated and renewed every 4 years), and by the income from research, analyses and consultancy projects carried out on behalf of various clients such as some of the smaller trade unions.

The primary objective of the ECLM secretariat is to provide the Executive Committee with analysis of the developments and policy proposals in the fiscal, industrial economic and macroeconomic fields. Research and analysis are the basis for the ECLM's standing representation on behalf of the Labour Movement on government appointed advisory councils, committees and commissions. Besides the main objective of advising the Executive Committee and representation for the Labour Movement, the secretariat carries out a number of assignments for the Social Democratic parliamentary group as well as for the trade unions, confederations and other organisations and institutions in the Labour Movement.

Another important area for the secretariat is communicating the results of the research to the public via mass media and participating in the public debate on issues related to ECLM research. For this purpose a blog has been created. The secretariat is also responsible for arranging conferences and seminars and maintaining contact with high schools and institutions of higher education, in particular social science research milieus. Besides these main tasks of preparing and communicating macro and microeconomic analyses, the secretariat also comes up with solutions in the benefit of workers and in order to secure social balance (equal income distribution).

The representation in councils, committees and commissions serves two purposes. In the first place the representatives advocate the Labour Movement position in order to further the Labour Movement's interests as much as possible on councils, committees and commissions. Secondly representation gives access to the information, which is the basis for the research carried out by the secretariat. Accessing this information is of vital importance to the research of the secretariat. Since 1973 the ECLM secretariat has held a seat on the EU Social and Economic Council. The ECLM secretariat has produced a great number of reports about the implications of draft proposals and EU legislation. The ECLM has drawn up draft proposals for legislation on e.g. the internal market, the structural funds, infra structure, the tax reforms necessitated by the internal market and the Economic and Monetary Union. The secretariat also has seats on national committees concerned with the implementation of EU Directives in the different sectors. The secretariat holds a seat on the Danish Investment Fund for Central and Eastern Europe, and on the Danish Investment Fund for Developing Countries. It represents the Labour Movement on national industrial development policy and industry regulation committees and further more on committees on science & technology, export schemes, industrial financing, public spending and investment as well as energy & environment.

Areas of expertise and competencies

The ECLM secretariat is focused on economic policy analysis in a wide range of subjects. Generally, the secretariat works on the following macroeconomic issues: short and medium term forecasts/projections and sustainability, labour market, welfare, education & lifelong learning, international economy, housing sector and infrastructure. On the microeconomic side the main preoccupations of ECLM are related to wage and income distribution, social inequality and taxes.

The research undertaken by the ECLM secretariat is facilitated by access to a wide range of background material. The secretariat has access to information from a number of Danish data banks and economic models, notably the econometric model ADAM, which are essential tools in the production of economic analyses of an international, national, regional or sectoral character. As part of the effort to comply with the increasing internationalisation of the market economy the ECLM has developed HEIMDAL, an econometric model of the international economy from a Danish/Nordic perspective. HEIMDAL operates with 13 OECD countries and 3 non-OECD aggregates, listed according to their interaction with the Danish economy. The OECD data banks OUTLOOK and STAN, subscriptions to the most important European economic journal and statistical reviews provide the secretariat with the statistical evidence to support research of the international economy. ECLM has started up developing an applied general equilibrium model of the Danish economy with special focus on education and human capital. The model is based on data from the Danish input-output tables, education statistics and econometric parameter estimates.

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

In the current work programme 2008-2010 that has been approved by the Executive Committee, the research activities are concentrated on the following topics: economic and labour development/policy, increased prosperity and occupation (How to secure high employment and how to keep people in the labour market and involve the outsiders?), welfare (Welfare reform - indexing retirement age with life expectancy), equality, taxes (Tax reform: reduce taxes but how to achieve more growth?), education (Lifelong learning - how to make jobs stay in Denmark?) as well as environment and climate.

Publications, language, newsletter

ECLM publishes every year a report and a large amount of newspaper articles that are issued every month. Besides that booklets on the different aspects of the Danish economy are published on an irregular basis. Only a limited number of the publications are translated into English. The latest publications that are available in English are downloadable from the following website.

Other networks the institute is participating in

ECLM is a member of the Scandinavian research network SAMAK.

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