he debate on 'The Dynamics of Wage Relations in the New Europe' is an T offspring of a research project on 'Disparities in Wage Relations and the Reproduction of Skills in Europe'. At a meeting of the advisory committee for this research held at the University of Westminster in London on 14th November 1994, it was decided (by Linda Clarke,]orn]anssen, Henryk Lewandowski, Philippe Mehaut, Patrick Rozenblatt and Frank Wilkinson) to set up a larger international committee to develop a programme and seek funding from the European Commission for a symposium of experts on wage relations. This committee of ten scientific experts was formed and invited to a number of meetings throughout 1995 and 1996 by DG V of the European Commission in order to develop a programme and proposal for a symposium to take place in 1997. Eventually the proposal, formally submitted by University of Westminster/London, University ofMaastrichti Netherlands, Fachhochschule Dortmund/Germany and University of Osnabriick/ Germany was accepted by the European Commission in May 1996. Additional funding was then obtained from the Hans-Bockler-Stiftung and the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research allowing, in particular, participants from Central and East European countries to be invited. The subject of wage relations, as a central issue of European social policy, was intended to be tackled in an open debate between scientists and policy makers, the latter as individual experts rather than representatives.