Call for Tenders: Brochure on International Production Chains

Promoting coordinated action by European working-class organisations

The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung is an internationally operating non-profit organisation for civic education affiliated with Germany’s Left Party. It is a discussion forum for progressive political alternatives and a centre for critical thinking and research both in Germany and throughout the world. The Brussels Office operates as a think tank reflecting on European and international issues affecting contemporary society.


The tender is for a service to produce a readily understandable text of 35,000–40,000 characters including spaces, based on a recently completed study. The study concerns the changing nature of international production chains and consists of 300,000 characters including spaces.

The planned new publication will be a short brochure to be circulated among an interested public, detailing the current challenges facing international production chains and discussing possible solutions from a leftist perspective aimed at establishing coordinated action by European working-class organisations.

The text will be made available in different languages. Proofreading, translating, layouting and printing will be done by the Brussels Office of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. The final outcome will be an information brochure outlining the topic in a succinct but clear and understandable way.

About the study

This study analyses the transformation of the European industrial structure between 2000 and 2014, mainly as a result of relocations and foreign direct investment. It charts the changing structure of the EU’s main global value chains (GVCs), and analyses the corresponding international distribution of employment and labour and how this has changed over time. The idea is to provide a geographical representation of the international division of labour and hence of the dynamics of European capitalism in the years after 2000.

The relevant theoretical and analytical tools for analysing the evolution of EU GVCs are classical production theory, as developed by Leontief and Pasinetti, regional input-output analysis (Leontief and Strout), and network theory.

The study features an in-depth analysis of the automotive chain, which is particularly relevant because it includes the highest proportion of EU jobs.

Eight GVCs emerged as having a significant impact on EU employment, each centred in a different country: five in Western Europe (Germany, France, UK, Spain, Belgium) and three in Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia). For each of them, the study examines the transformation of the relationship between domestic participation in the value chain and the relocation of production activities abroad.

The study’s conclusions emphasise the need for action by the working class at transnational level, both by using and strengthening existing tools (European Works Councils, transnational company agreements) and by developing new ones (supply chain agreements).

Indeed, there is an extremely urgent need for a European strategy to enable the working classes to respond to the fragmentation and geographical distribution of value chains imposed by capitalism.

The study’s authors are Nadia Garbellini and Matteo Gaddi, economic researchers and members of the Milan-based cultural association Punto Rosso.


  • Solid professional skills in journalistic research and writing
  • The ability to write texts in easily understandable language
  • Relevant work experience in similar writing projects
  • Sound knowledge of the current discussions around European politics, industrial policy, trade and economic policy
  • A more in-depth knowledge of one or more of the following sub-areas: value chains, supply chain agreements, trade unions, labour struggles
  • Good knowledge of the European automotive industry
  • Basic knowledge of input-output analysis (IOA) and how to interpret results, numbers and figures
  • Excellent English language skills, a fluent and target group-specific writing style and the ability to familiarise yourself quickly with new topics
  • Familiarity with leftist positions as well as critical and progressive thinking
  • Identification with the values and objectives of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.

Terms of reference

The scope of work includes two main areas: firstly, presenting the complex issues of the study in a form that is also understandable to a non-academic readership and formulating key messages; secondly, producing a political analysis of the possible future development of international production chains and sketching a vision for left-wing political development with respect to European working-class organisations. The text should be written in English.


  • Deadline for tender submissions: 10 April 2020
  • Notification of acceptance of tender by 15 April 2020
  • Submission for comment of an abstract (max. 1,000 words) indicating the focal areas covered and the logical structuring of the text by 4 May 2020
  • Submission of full draft text for comment by 29 June 2020
  • Submission of revised report by 13 July 2020
  • Validation of final corrected proof by the author in August 2020.

What we offer

  • Fair remuneration and an opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s biggest left-wing organisations
  • Chance to work independently on a highly topical issue as it unfolds
  • Publication of report online and in hard copy, to be made available free of charge
  • Contract to commence on 15/04/2020 and expire on 31/08/2020.


Applicants are advised that renewal of this contract is not envisaged. An invoice should be sent to the Brussels Office of Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung after completion of all agreed contractual services.

Application procedure

Applications should be submitted in English and include a CV, writing samples as well as a proposal for remuneration. Please email applications to Alexandra Spaeth at by 13:00 CET on 10 April 2020. Any questions can be sent by email to the same address.

Call for TendersPDF file