Both studies were originally prepared for the second European conference of the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti, which was held in Naples in June 2000. This book draws much on the discussion in Naples, which involved a qualified audience of academicians, professional economists, representatives of unions and employers' associations, industrialists, and policy‐makers.
Needless to say, we are very much indebted to all those who attended that conference and contributed actively to the discussion. In particular, we wish to express our gratitude to Sergio Cofferati, leader of the largest Italian union, CGIL, who carefully followed the discussion and contributed to the final wrap‐up session. We are most grateful to Carlo De Benedetti, who allowed this event to occur and opened the Conference.
Special thanks to Giacomo De Giorgi, Pietro Garibaldi, Mattia Makovec, and Roberta Marcaletti, who assisted us in the organization of the conference and worked hard and skilfully in preparing the background material for this volume. We are also grateful to Mario Macis, Francesca Mazzolari, and Giovanni Bono, who contributed to the final stages of preparation of the conference.
We are indebted to the European Trade Unions Institute, notably to its director Reiner Hoffmann, for organizing a one‐day workshop in Brussels in January 2001 in which the two reports were discussed. On that occasion we benefited from comments from European trade union leaders, including Emilio Gabaglio, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederations, which proved very valuable in the final preparation of this volume.