Eurofound News July 2012
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Members of Eurofound’s Governing Board and Eurofound staff photographed together on the occasion of the 85th Governing Board meeting on 29 June 2012.
News in brief
Flexicurity, once the cornerstone of the EU strategy to increase employment rates, seems to have lost its appeal during the financial crisis. This is mainly due to the fact that security is hard to maintain in times of economic crisis, especially for vulnerable groups of workers. However, Eurofound research has found that companies are in fact employing strategies that could fit into the flexicurity bracket, although they might not be labelled as such. The report Flexicurity: Actions at company level analyses measures targeting both younger and older workers as well as women. It found that such strategies generally require a good business case to be successful, and that the main driver for their implementation is to maintain or increase the diversity of the workforce. Most of the measures are aimed at developing or updating skills and combining work with family responsibilities.
The Governing Board of Eurofound held its 85th meeting on Friday 29 June 2012 in the Raymond Pierre Bodin Conference Centre on the agency’s premises in Loughlinstown. Its main business was the approval of the 2013–2016 programme ‘From crisis to recovery – Better informed policies for a competitive and fair Europe’. The meeting also provided feedback on Eurofound’s proposals for its 2013 activities. The recent agreement (12 June) between the European Parliament, Council and Commission on a common approach for the functioning and governance of the agency was discussed in terms of its implications for tripartite representation – governments, trade unions and employer organisations – per Member State in the Governing Board. In advance of the meeting, Eurofound staff presented new findings related to the EU Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generation.
Dublin played host to the international Euroscience Open Forum Dublin 2012 on 11–15 July, which included several events, including a 10-day science festival with activities for citizens and experts across the city. Eurofound research managers took part in discussions at the ancilliary conference in Dublin Castle on 9–11 July, ‘Active ageing – the potential for society’. Sponsored by the European Commission and linked to the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, this event aimed to showcase a positive approach to ageing and its potential for society, presenting international scientific research on active ageing and identifying future research challenges. Eurofound research manager Klára Fóti chaired a parallel session on social participation, while Head of Unit for Living Conditions and Quality of Life Rob Anderson presented Eurofound research findings at Panel 2, ‘Economic dimensions of ageing/economic impulses’.
Improving equality between women and men is a vital component in the EU’s response to the current economic crisis, according to the Commission’s annual report on gender equality published in April. Greet Vermeylen, research manager in the Working Conditions and Industrial Relations unit in Eurofound, will participate in the conference organised by the Commission on the role of men in gender equality, which will take place in Brussels on 14 September. Eurofound has built up a considerable body of research on issues related to gender equality, not least through its European Working Conditions Survey, which sheds light on the way men and women work, as well as gender segregation at work. The aim of the conference is to exchange ideas and opinions on ways in which men can contribute to achieving gender equality, in order to enable policymakers in the EU Member States and EFTA countries to take into account men’s views when establishing and implementing gender equality policies.