Project Untangled

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Project Untangled
Untangling the impacts of technological transformations, globalisation and demographic change to foster shared prosperity in Europe.


Our goal in UNTANGLED is to examine the impact of globalisation, technological transformations and demographic change on labour markets in the European Union, and to recommend policies that will contribute to shared prosperity. These megatrends are accelerating and intertwine with each other in a series of dependencies affecting skills, inequality, labour mobility and migration. Ageing societies, automation, AI, migration, global value chains and Industry 4.0 are just some of the factors that are changing the nature of work.

In this interdisciplinary project, we seek to untangle these trends, measure their impact and identify the groups that are at risk. We also map scenarios for how they will develop at the level of particular sectors, regions and the EU. As part of our effort to ensure we have a wide variety of regional perspectives, institutions from three continents beyond Europe are also participating in the project. Based on our analyses, we will propose policies to reap the benefits of the three megatrends and cushion their negative impacts, promoting fairness and prosperity for the people of Europe and beyond.

We aim to answer three main research questions:

  • What are the effects of technological transformation, globalisation, and demographic trends on labour market outcomes, skills, inequality, and labour mobility and migration in Europe?
  • What are the plausible scenarios for these mega-trends and their impacts in the decades to come?
  • Which combinations of policies will be most effective in managing these mega-trends towards shared prosperity?


On 16 July, Karolien Lenaerts (HIVA – KU LEUVEN) presented the objectives, methods and expected results of UNTANGLED at Horizon Europe – Focus on the Africa Initiative, demonstrating how EU and South African partners can collaborate on Horizon2020 projects in the social sciences. The event was organized by European South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme (ESASTAP), a collaborative initiative to promote, facilitate and coordinate research, development and innovation cooperation between South Africa and the EU.

2021 © UNTANGLED. All rights reserved.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004776

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