Eurofound celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding in 2015. In 1975, the then European Community set up the Agency, charging it with the task of contributing to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe. The social policy agenda and priorities may have changed over those 40 years, but Eurofound’s mission throughout has been constant: to support policymakers to develop the best solutions to the social- and work-related challenges faced by the European Union. This celebratory year for Eurofound proved to be another year of upheaval for Europe, with the surge of refugees in unprecedented numbers widening the political fractures opened by the economic crisis.
In 2015, combating unemployment was still a priority and will be for some time to come. Eurofound’s seventh annual yearbook, Living and working in Europe, based on the Agency’s research from 2015, focuses on major topic areas including changes in labour markets and new forms of employment, efforts to tackle high rates of youth unemployment and the risk of social exclusion, quality of work and sustainability of new jobs being created, building better workplaces, and mobility and migration. Quality of life has slipped for many Europeans, and poverty is a reality or a real threat for millions: Eurofound’s work in this area in 2015 drew attention to the inequalities that weaken social cohesion and social convergence within the Union.
The yearbook is accompanied by the Consolidated annual activity report of the Authorising Officer for 2015, which is the Agency’s formal reporting on operations, staff and budgets.