The I-WIRE project develops around different outputs:

1. The desk analysis

The project starts with a research and desk analysis phase. The issues of new autonomous workers in the advanced tertiary sector in Europe and of their collective representation is thoroughly investigated.

The goal is threefold:

– to present an overview of background literature on the issue of the new autonomous workers and the different forms of collective representation of this heterogeneous category of workers

– to build typology by reviewing the wide variety of definitions on this differentiated labour market segment, as well analysing the variety of institutional arrangements and types of employment relations

– to map the roles of representative organisations, including both traditional Trade Unions and new emerging types, such as Quasi-unions, and Labour Market Intermediaries (LMIs).

The results of the desk analysis  can be found in the following topical reports:

– Definition and typology of new autonomous workers

– Mapping Quasi-Unions

– The role of Labour Market Intermediaries

– The role of Trade Unions


2. The national case studies

The desk analysis serve as a basis for the nine country case studies which have also been nurtured by document analysis, focus groups, interviews with institutional actors and key stakeholders as well as in-depth case studies. Each national report describes: national labour market, legal and institutional framework, public policy support to new autonomous workers, collective representation of new autonomous workers and draw first conclusions per country.

All national case studies can be found here:

– Belgium

– France


– Italy

– Slovenia



The Netherlands

– UK

These reports feed the elaboration of the transversal report on the institutional frame as well as the transversal analysis of case studies.


3. A transnational survey

A transnational survey on new autonomous workers in the nine countries has been circulated through an online questionnaire. The main objectives was to:

– map new types of autonomous workers across Europe, by using the classification model identified in the desk analysis

– define the workers’ social needs: requirements according to income, number and typologies of contractors, business development, level of autonomy, activity, regulative models and their effects on payment levels, employment continuity and career patterns, continuous training and human capital upgrading

– determine means to identify bogus self-employment

– explore the links between new independent workers, traditional unions andnew representation organizations

The results of the survey cover 3 parts:

Part 1 presents the research design as well as definition, characteristics and trends of independent professionals in EU-28. Results of part 1 can be found  here.

Part 2 presents the results of the survey  as follows (click to access reports):







– Sweden


summary of findings

Part 3 presents the conclusions as well the references. It may be found here.


4. Good practices and policy recommendations

Through the data collected, thanks to the national reports and transnational survey,  a catalogue of good practices and policy recommendations is elaborated. The “good practices” aim at identifying relevant examples, approaches and experiences in the European Union and Member States, useful to support the working conditions, representation needs and social protection of new autonomous workers. These are currently being analysed in the frame of national seminars where the selected good practices are discussed with representatives of the relevant stakeholders in order to derive useful policy indications.


5. The final conference

An international seminar was organised in Brussels March 16th presenting and debating the results of the project with the various stakeholders (relevant policy makers, representatives of unions, quasi-unions and labour market intermediaries at national and EU level).

More information on the final conference (presentations, and videos) can be found here.


6. Final report

All the main research findings and policy recommendations of the previous topical reports are summarized in the final report (an e-publication) that can be downloaded here.