Marco Biagi was born in Bologna on 24 November 1950. After completing his high-school studies at the Liceo ginnasio Luigi Galvani, he took his law degree at Bologna University at the age of 22, graduating summa cum laude under the supervision of Giuseppe Federico Mancini. Soon after he was awarded a scholarship to take a postgraduate course in labour law.
In 1974 he lectured in private law at the Faculty of Law in Bologna, then at the University of Pisa, with Luigi Montuschi, before moving to the University of Modena. He was then appointed as a lecturer at the University of Calabria, and subsequently at the University of Ferrara. In 1984 he won a public competition and was appointed Professor of Labour Law and Italian and Comparative Trade Union Law at the University of Modena, in the Department of Business Administration. From 1987 to 2002 he was Full Professor at the Faculty of Economics.
From 1986 to 2002 he was also Adjunct Professor of Comparative Industrial Relations at Dickinson College, and a member of the Academic Council of the Johns Hopkins University, Bologna Center. From 1988 to 2000 he was scientific director of SINNEA International, the research and training institute of the Lega delle cooperative. In 1991 at the Department of Business Administration at Modena University he founded the Centre for International and Comparative Studies, setting up an innovative research programme in labour law and industrial relations.
At the beginning of the 1990s he became Consultant to the European Commission – Directorate General V (Industrial Relations and Employment). He also started to work with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin, and was invited to be correspondent of the Japan Labour Institute.
In 1993 he was appointed to the Ministerial Committee of Experts for the reform of the laws governing working hours. From 1993 to 2002 he was Adjunct Professor of European Community Law and Politics at the Dickinson College Bologna Center for European Studies. In 1993 he also became the labour law and industrial relations columnist for Il Resto del Carlino and La Nazione.
In 1994 he was elected President of the Italian Industrial Relations Research Association, founded in 1968 by Gino Giugni and Tiziano Treu, and Consultant to the International Labour Organisation for matters relating to the working environment.
From 1995, together with Luciano Spagnolo Vigorita he was Co-director of the journal Diritto delle Relazioni Industriali, published by Giuffrè. From 1995 onwards he was also labour law and industrial relations correspondent for Il Sole-24 Ore.
In 1995 he became Special Adviser to the Minister of Labour, Tiziano Treu. In 1996 he was appointed President of the Committee of Experts for the drafting of a consolidating act on health and safety, set up by the Ministry of Labour, and coordinator of the working party dealing with international relations at the Ministry of Labour.
In 1997 he was appointed representative of the Italian Government to the Committee for Employment and the Labour Market of the European Union, and was nominated as an expert by the International Labour Organisation to assist the Government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in planning new labour legislation. In 1997 he was appointed Special Adviser to the Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi.
In 1998 he was appointed Special Adviser to the Minister of Labour, Antonio Bassolino, and Special Adviser to the Minister of Transport, Tiziano Treu. In the same year he was appointed to the Board of Administration of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin, as representative of the Italian Government.
In 1999 he became Vice-President of the Committee on Employment and the Labour Market of the European Union, and a member of the task force on industrial action during the Jubilee Year, coordinated by the Under Secretary at the Prime Minister’s Department, Marco Minniti. In 1999 he was also Special Adviser to the Civil Service Minister, Angelo Piazza. In the same year he became Managing Editor of The International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, published by Kluwer Law International.
In 2000 he was appointed Special Adviser to the delegate in charge of labour relations for Milan City Council, Carlo Magri, and Special Adviser to the delegate in charge of social services for Modena City Council. In the same year he founded ADAPT, the Association for International and Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, bringing together all the main associations representing employers and employees, with the sole exception of the CGIL.
In 2001 he was appointed Consultant to the Minister of Welfare, Roberto Maroni, and to the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi. In the same year he was appointed to the group examining the future of industrial relations set up by the European Commission, and to the academic advisory board of Italia Lavoro.
In 2002 he became a member of the academic advisory board of the Labour Observatory of AREL, the agency for research and legislation.
Marco Biagi died in Bologna on the evening of 19 March 2002, at the age of 52, the victim of a terrorist attack by the Red Brigades. His research continues through the work of the Marco Biagi Centre for International and Comparative Studies, ADAPT and the Marco Biagi Foundation at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.
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