The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of the fragmentation of production chains among different countries in recent decades. The pandemic’s containment measures have in fact led to an abrupt halt in the countries that introduced them but also in other countries that imported intermediate goods. The most salient examples concern not only the production of medical supplies, but also sectors not directly linked to the fight against the pandemic, such as the electronic products sector which is experiencing a period of severe shortage of essential components, such as semiconductors. These global disturbances have brought attention to the debate about efficiency and effectiveness but also the risks, economic and geo-political, linked to an excessive international fragmentation of production.

In this context, the research project analyzes the implications, in terms of employment, of the restructuring of the global value chains (GVC) oriented towards the shortening and localization of the production phases closest to the locality of consumption of final goods (nearshoring).


The issue of nearshoring takes place in a context of decelerating the process of the fragmentation of production at the international level and of an already existing regionalization of global value chains (GVC), with strong geopolitical implications that influence the foreign policy of the countries involved in the GVCs. Promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the research project intends to:

  • Provide as detailed and up-to-date a mapping as possible of the evolution of GVC in Europe;
  • Identify the regionalization processes of GVCs and study their implications on employment dynamics in Europe, with attention to the sectors and countries affected by reshoring processes;
  • Analyze the possible re-composition of the resulting demand for work and the implications on wages.


The group includes:

  • Two senior researchers, Valentina Meliciani and Maria Savona
  • Two junior researchers, Ariel Wirkierman and Filippo Bontadini
  • An ETUI researcher, Jan Drahokoupil.

Si tratta di un gruppo di esperti nelle tematiche trattate dal progetto.

Professor Meliciani and Professor Savona have published numerous articles in prestigious international journals on the issues dealt with by the project, with a special focus on global value chains. Dr. Wirkierman is an international expert on the use of input-output tables, having published articles on this subject in prestigious international journals. Dr. Bontadini has a PhD from SPRU, University of Sussex, on the issue of global value chains, having published widely on the issues presented in the project. Dr. Drahokoupil is an expert on political economy and development, in particular in Eastern Europe.

La collaborazione tra questo gruppo di ricercatori accademici e l’ETUI è già in atto ed è consistita fino a questo momento nella produzione di uno studio sulle dinamiche di integrazione nelle catene globali del valore, la tecnologia e l’occupazione in Europa.

Aims and expected results

The research project includes various activities for disseminating the results:

  • Publication of a research article in an international academic journal;
  • Dissemination of the research results in two series of working papers: the working papers of the Luiss School of European Political Economy (SEP) and the working papers of the partner organization of this project, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI);
  • Dissemination of the results through the production of two reports in two formats published by Luiss SEP: a Policy Brief which will focus on the implications of the results for public policies and a Five Bullet Points which will convey the main messages immediately;
  • Organization, in collaboration with ETUI, of a workshop in which the results of the project will be presented and researchers and political decision-makers, from Italy and from European institutions, who have worked on the same issues addressed by the project, as well as MAECI officials, will be invited as speakers.


The project will benefit from a partnership with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), the independent research center of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). ETUI is a non-profit organization under Belgian law that employs a staff of 70 people from all over Europe and receives funding from the European Union. The ETUI conducts studies on socio-economic issues, industrial relations and monitors the developments of European public policies that are of strategic importance for the world of work. The project’s partner is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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