Stakeholders and partners
Eurofound’s mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies. While Eurofound is directed at the EU level in its role and work, it is linked with the Member States in a number of ways.
Eurofound's Governing Board members are appointed on nomination from governments and social partner organisations within the Member States, with three members representing the European Commission. The Governing Board has established a Bureau of 11 members, composed of the Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons, one coordinator per Group (of governments, unions and employers) and one more representative of each Group and of the Commission.
EU institutions, governments and social partners are among the highest priority target groups for Eurofound’s products and services. An important strand of Eurofound’s communication strategy focuses on providing these stakeholders with knowledge and services that assist them in the fulfilment of these roles. Such cooperation may take the form of customised reports based on existing Eurofound data.
Eurofound’s relationship with the institutions is a dynamic one, forged through formal (institutional) and informal links. Eurofound is an autonomous agency of the EU and as such belongs within the constellation of EU bodies. It is also a member of the EU Agencies Network.
The Agency has signed cooperation agreements with five of these sister Agencies:
- the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)
- the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
- the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
- the European Training Foundation ( ETF)
- the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).
These agreements are implemented through annual action plans and are the basis for exchange of data sources and for joint initiatives in the areas of research, events and operations systems.
The European Commission is involved in the governance of Eurofound through its membership on Eurofound’s Governing Board, where it has an important role in adopting the work programmes.
Eurofound works with the Council of the EU mainly through the programmes of its Presidencies, providing expertise, speakers or other support for presidency events. Joint events are also organised with the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee.
Eurofound maintains an office in Brussels to enable it to keep in close contact with the EU institutions. For further information, please contact the Brussels Liaison Office.
A total of 28 governments are linked institutionally to Eurofound. Each Member State has a government representative on the Governing Board, usually an official from the ministry with the employment or social affairs portfolio.
As the Governing Board adopts Eurofound’s work programmes and proposes its budget, the Member State governments have significant influence on the functioning of Eurofound. The Member State governments together (in their role as EU Council) created Eurofound and continue to finance it through the general EU budget.
Given Eurofound’s mandate – to advise on how to improve living and working conditions – the relationship between Eurofound and the social partners is necessarily a close one. Trade unions and employers comprise two sides of Eurofound’s tripartite Governing Board (the third being national governments).
Each side of the social partnership within each Member State has a representative on the Board, ensuring a reflection of the diversity of the industrial relations systems and culture within the EU. The representatives in each case are drawn from those national confederations that are organised at European Union level by ETUC and BusinessEurope. Representatives of ETUC and of BusinessEurope attend the meetings of the Governing Board as observers.
Eurofound cooperates with international organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This cooperation can take the form of contributions to reports or organisation of joint events.
Eurofound also engages with civil society in its different manifestations (such as non-governmental organisations, the general public and academia). Civil society is regularly consulted about the formulation of Eurofound's work programmes and is briefed on the outcome of those programmes. The Social Platform network, for example, is an important conduit for Eurofound’s engagement with civil society. As such, it regularly participates in events and other elements of Eurofound’s work.
The academic and research community is an important user of Eurofound's knowledge. Furthermore, researchers and other academics are frequently selected (through open tender procedure) to carry out field research for Eurofound.