Eurofound News June 2012
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News in brief
Eurofound’s openness, transparency and accountability as a European public body came under scrutiny during the recent visit by European Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros. The role of the European Ombudsman, based in Strasbourg, is to investigate complaints on behalf of the European citizen about maladministration in EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. The visit on 15 May was part of a series of visits undertaken by the Ombudsman to all EU agencies, aimed at identifying and promoting best practice by the agencies in their relations with citizens. During his half day at Eurofound, Mr Diamandouros was briefed by Director Juan Menéndez-Valdés and Deputy Director Erika Mezger as well as by senior staff on Eurofound’s policies in relation to selection and recruitment procedures, tenders and contracts, and dealing with requests for information from the public
Fieldwork for the third European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) was completed in the 27 EU Member States in February 2012, and is currently ongoing in seven candidate or pre-accession countries: Croatia, Iceland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia and Turkey. So far, 35,500 people have been interviewed in the EU27, and the dataset is currently being analysed internally by Eurofound. By the time the fieldwork is completed in all 34 countries, over 42,500 people will have been interviewed. The first results of the survey will be available in an overview report and résumé, which are expected to be published at the end of 2012. It is planned to make the survey dataset available to the public in spring 2013.
There are changes afoot in the European Monitoring Centre for Change (EMCC). Online readers may have noticed a new look and feel to the EMCC website in recent weeks. The changes, which are being rolled out on a phased basis as part of a development plan, include revamped web pages, a new web page presenting both past and ongoing research projects in selected labour market thematic areas and a searchable database containing data on over 14,000 large-scale restructuring events across Europe. A new database from the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) gives information on 400 support measures for companies across the EU27 and Norway. Finally, the ERM quarterly has taken on a smart, new, four-page format, designed to facilitate rapid reading for busy users.
In the wake of the economic and financial crisis, concerns have been expressed about the adequacy and sustainability of pensions. A recently observed phenomenon is the increasing number of people who take up paid work after retirement. Selected experts in the social field including NGOs, academics and social partners will debate the findings of new research by Eurofound at a special workshop, ‘Income from work after retirement’, in Brussels on 15 June. Steered by Eurofound research experts Rob Anderson and Hans Dubois, the meeting will look at case studies documenting experiences over the past five years on the type of paid work retirees take up and their motivations, taking into account genger differences. It will also examine relevant government policies for employment and self-employment after retirement. The workshop will compare EU experiences with the USA, where employment rates post-retirement have traditionally been high. Eurofound plans to publish the report and case studies in the second half of 2012.