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Social Rights of Solo-Entrepreneurs

motorcycle rider of a food delivery platform checking phone
Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The Department of Legal Studies cordially invites you to the upcoming Brown Bag seminar with Prof. Karin Lukas on Wednesday, June 14, 1 – 2 pm. Prof. Lukas will present ongoing work of her Austrian Science Fund “FWF” bilateral research project “Social Rights of Solo-Entrepreneurs”. You can find a description of the project project below.


The seminar will be held in hybrid format.

Zoom details:

Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 976 0068 0984

Passcode: 903949

Room: QS B-319



Current challenges in the world of work are associated with the dissolution of traditional forms of employment, blurred boundaries between self-employment and dependent employment, as well as growing flexibilization and digitization of work. The field of self-employment is expanding with these new phenomena. Existing research on self-employment also addresses the rights of platform workers, a topic which has attracted considerable attention in recent years.  In Europe, platform work is rapidly growing. The European Commission estimates that today, over 28 million people in the EU work through digital labour platforms. In 2025, their number is expected to reach 43 million people. The majority of them are self-employed.

Platform work includes both freedom and precariousness, depending on one’s position in the system.  What is a flexible device of good use for some is a means of exploitation for others. The latter needs to be systematically addressed, also because platform work and precarious self-employment will expand in Europe.

These developments pose fundamental questions: Who is a worker and who is an entrepreneur? Who is entitled to the protection of (international) labour law and social rights and who is excluded from this protection?

A recently started research project at CEU in cooperation with the Institute for Labour Law and Labour Relations in the EU at the University of Trier seeks to address these questions  and focuses on four objectives: (1) identifying legal obligations of States under international and European human rights law to protect solo-entrepreneurs and possible individual, collective and social approaches to prevent exploitation of solo-entrepreneurs (2) analyzing the implementation of international human rights obligations that would enhance the protection of solo-entrepreneurs at national level in Austria and Germany, (3) assessing the implementation of international and European human rights obligations in line with European Union law and (4) developing targeted legal recommendations on how to address the situation of solo-entrepreneurs in light of international/European human rights standards and EU law.