U.S. — EU Working Group

US and EU flags.

The U.S. — EU Working Group on Employment and Labor-Related Issues was established in 1996 via a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF) signed by Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and his European Commission counterpart. Over the years the Working Group has sponsored meetings, workshops and conferences that draw expertise from governments, trade unions, businesses, academia, and other organizations.


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Dec 9, 2016: U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Christopher P. Lu’s remarks for European Vocational Skills Week 2016

The European Union (EU) celebrated their first Vocational Skills Week December 5-9, 2016. To mark the occasion and underscore the importance of U.S. – EU collaboration on how to promote apprenticeships, Deputy Secretary Lu recorded a message for our EU partners, which was shown at the closing session.

May 11, 2016: U.S. – EU Roundtable on Addressing Long-Term Unemployment – Washington, DC

Officials from government, academia and other stakeholders in the United States and European Union shared strategies for addressing long-term unemployment through labor market policies and employer engagement, programs that reconnect the long-term unemployed with the workforce, supportive services that help the long-term unemployed, and methods for monitoring and evaluating program performance. Read more

February 25 – 26, 2016: EU –  U.S. Workshop on Advancing the Quality, Supply, and Image of Innovative Apprenticeships – Brussels, Belgium

Representatives of government, companies, trade unions, community colleges, foundations, think tanks, and industrial sectors from the United States and representatives from trade unions, companies, youth and parents organizations, vocational education and training (VET) providers, and Member States governments from the EU met in Brussels.  They exchanged information and shared their perspectives on 1) the similarities and differences in apprenticeship systems in the EU and the U.S., 2) the business case and return on investment for employers and other stakeholders, 3) how expand apprenticeships into new sectors, 4) how to increase the attractiveness of apprenticeships, 5) building apprenticeship ecosystems and public-private partnerships and 6) creating opportunities for under-represented/disadvantaged groups. Representatives from the Government of Canada and key international organizations also participated in the workshop.

September 17 – 19, 2015: U.S. – EU Conference on Occupational Safety and Health – Ft. Worth, Texas

Experts from U.S. and EU governments and labor and business communities convened to discuss preventing hazards in energy production, nanotechnology and materials at the workplace, and health and safety and the changing structure of work.


Kristin Sparding
(202) 693-4852