European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)
Eurofound is a European Union body, one of the first to be established to work in specialised areas of EU policy. Specifically, it was set up by the European Council (Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75 of 26 May 1975), to contribute to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe. This Regulation was amended by EF Council Regulation (EC) No 1111/2005 of 24 June 2005 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 on the creation of a European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.
Eurofound's core business is both research and communicating the results of that research. It carries out research and development projects, to provide data and analysis for informing and supporting the formulation of EU policy on working and living conditions. Eurofound has a network of experts throughout Europe who conduct research on its behalf including assessing the current national situations, the preparation of case studies and national reports and the conducting of surveys.
As part of its research base, Eurofound maintains a number of monitoring tools:
- the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO)
- the European Working Conditions Observatory (EWCO)
- the European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC)
- the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM)
- the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS)
- the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS)
- the European Company Survey (ECS)
Eurofound is managed by a Governing Board comprising representatives of governments, employers and workers of each Member State and three representatives from the European Commission. This representation of the governments and the social partners reflects the tripartite nature of the organisation's work. The Board meets annually to decide policy, to adopt the work programme and to propose the draft budget. Eurofound's financing forms part of the general budget of the European Commission and the funds allocated to it are decided in the official budgetary process between the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. Eurofound's budget for 2011 is €20,450.000 million.
The staff are drawn from a number of Member States and have a wide range of professional experience and background. A small number of experts are seconded from time to time from national administrations. Eurofound also maintains a Brussels Liaison Office, with the dual role of strengthening the visibility and impact of Eurofound research at EU level, and monitoring developments in policymaking.
Every four years Eurofound reviews its strategy and the orientation to be given to its work and after widespread consultation prepares a rolling programme. The current four-year programme 2009-2012, Europe at work: Better life and opportunities for all was adopted in October 2008 and came into effect in January 2009. Within the context of the four-year programme, a detailed annual programme of work is prepared and proposed for adoption by the Board. The programmes are the outcome of detailed deliberations of the groups making up the Governing Board as well as with the Institutions of the Union.
The Foundation is based in Dublin, Ireland. The website is at http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/.