Demonstrations and strikes are taking across Europe in protest at deep public-spending cuts being introduced by debt-laden national governments.
Labour leaders from across the continent called workers onto the streets to take part in the largest protest of its kind in more than a decade to oppose so-called austerity measures.
Europe lost millions of jobs during the financial crisis, and more look set to vanish as public sectors across the region are shrunk by governments eager to save money.
Up to 100,000 people were expected to descend on Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, on Wednesday, with other protests planned in Spain, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Portugal and Serbia.
"We will demonstrate to voice our concern over the economic and social context, which will be compounded by austerity measures," John Monks, general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, said.