In February 2002, the National Mediation Office (Medlingsinstitutet)
presented its first annual report , covering 2001. The National Mediation
Office was established in 2000 (SE9912110F ) and its primary function is
to be responsible for mediation in labour disputes in cases where the social
partners have not reached their own agreements on bargaining rules and
mediation (see below). The National Mediation Office's most important goal,
as formulated by its director-general Anders LindstrÃ¶m in May
2001(SE0105195F ), is to achieve a well-functioning and sustainable
process of wage formation on the Swedish labour market. Among the National
Mediation Office's tasks is the publication of an annual report on wage
developments. The National Mediation Office is also responsible for public
wage statistics, conducting analyses and promoting research, all in order to
provide a sound basis for the social partners' wage negotiations.
On 26 March 2002, the Swedish government announced that it had decided to
support a proposal from the board of the Swedish-based telecommunications
company Telia AB for a merger with the Finnish-owned Sonera Oyj. The merger
will involve a share exchange, with the current Telia shareholders owning 64%
of the new company and current Sonera shareholders 36%. The merged company
would be the largest telecommunications operator in the Nordic countries and
the Baltic states. Currently, the Swedish state owns 70% of Telia, and the
Finnish state 53% of Sonera. The Swedish state would own 45% of the new
merged company, and the Finnish state 19%. Telia currently has about 34,000
employees and Sonera 10,000.
In March 2002, a Finnish parliamentary working group on adult education and
training submitted a proposal for raising education and skill levels. The SAK
trade union confederation finds the proposal significant from the perspective
of helping employees cope at work and improving employment opportunities. The
TT employers' confederation has presented its own programme for raising the
level of 'know-how' in Finland.
Disputes over general practitioners' consultation fees continued in France in
March 2002. An agreement on new rates signed in January by the CNAMTS
sickness insurance funds and one of the two general practitioners'
associations was rejected by other association, which has continued to
organise action, such as refusing to work on-call at night or at weekends.
Furthermore, a minority of doctors are systematically charging fees in excess
of the going rate. Meanwhile, the authorities are continuing to establish a
new system of organising the relationship between the sickness insurance
funds and doctors, and disputes in other parts of the health sector are still
at serious levels.
Economic growth continued quite strongly across most of the EU Member States
during the first half of 2001, after a robust performance in 2000. However,
the economies of many countries began to falter towards the middle of the
year and the nascent downturn was exacerbated by the terrorist attacks on the
USA of 11 September, throwing many sectors, such as civil aviation, tourism
and related industries, into crisis. Thus, annual growth figures for the year
to the third quarter of 2001 show that average GDP growth was 1.4% in both
the 12 countries of the 'euro-zone' and the 15 Member States, down
significantly when compared with the figure of 3.4% in the euro-zone and 3.3%
in the 15 Member States for the year to the third quarter of 2000 - see
figure 1 below. Growth was highest in the year to the third quarter of 2001
in Spain (2.8%) and the UK (2.2%), and lowest in Finland (0.0%) and Germany
Telecommunications and most types of postal service were long organised as a
state monopoly in Austria. The services covered by this monopoly were
performed by the Austrian Postal Authorities (Österreichische Post- und
Telegraphenverwaltung, ÖPTV), which was part of the public service sector.
The ÖPTV was succeeded in 1996 by Post- und Telekom Austria (PTA), which is
organised according to private company law. Both organisations cover(ed) both
posts and telecommunications and the two areas are examined together here -
indeed the NACE 'statistical classification of economic activities in the
European Community' lists them both under NACE classification 64 ('post and
Over 2001 and 2002, a number of industrial tribunal rulings have highlighted
the 'abusive' use of temporary agency work in the French automobile industry.
The use of agency workers is widespread in this sector, and tribunals have
found that in some cases this has exceeded the bounds of the law.
Uil, one of Italy's three main trade union confederations, held its 13th
national congress in March 2002 in Turin. The congress was dominated by the
conflict between the unions and the government on the latter's proposals for
reform of the labour market, the pension system and the tax system. Debate at
the congress also highlighted the political divisions between the three union
The second annual programme of work based on the Foundation's four-year programme 2001-2004: analysing and anticipating change to support socio-economic progress. The principles of the programme include developing and consolidating the main areas of activity: research / development, debate / discussion, information / dissemination; and strengthening core areas of expertise - working conditions, living conditions and industrial relations.
In the early months of 2002, various Italian internet and other 'new economy'
businesses reacted to the crisis in the sector by threatening job losses or
closures. As a consequence, workers approached the trade unions and resorted
to innovative forms of action and communication. Are we therefore witnessing
the birth of industrial relations in a sector to date largely based on the
individual employment relationship?
Eurofound’s work on COVID-19 examines the far-reaching socioeconomic implications of the pandemic across Europe as they continue to impact living and working conditions. A key element of the research is the e-survey, conducted in three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. It provides an overview of trends in working conditions and quality of employment for the last 30 years. It covers issues such as employment status, working time duration and organisation, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, work–life balance, worker participation, earnings and financial security, work and health, and most recently also the future of work.
The European Restructuring Monitor has reported on the employment impact of large-scale business restructuring since 2002. This series includes its restructuring-related databases (events, support instruments and legislation) as well as case studies and publications.
Eurofound’s Flagship report series 'Challenges and prospects in the EU' comprise research reports that contain the key results of multiannual research activities and incorporate findings from different related research projects. Flagship reports are the major output of each of Eurofound’s strategic areas of intervention and have as their objective to contribute to current policy debates.
Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) maps and analyses company policies and practices which can have an impact on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, as well as the development of social dialogue in companies. This series consists of outputs from the ECS 2019, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
Eurofound's representativness studies are designed to allow the European Commission to identify the ‘management and labour’ whom it must consult under article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This series consists of studies of the representativeness of employer and worker organisations in various sectors.
This series reports on and updates latest information on the involvement of national social partners in policymaking. The series analyses the involvement of national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, including their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs).
This series reports on the new forms of employment emerging across Europe that are driven by societal, economic and technological developments and are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. This series explores what characterises these new employment forms and what implications they have for working conditions and the labour market.
The European Company Survey (ECS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2004–2005, with the latest edition in 2019. The survey is designed to provide information on workplace practices to develop and evaluate socioeconomic policy in the EU. It covers issues around work organisation, working time arrangements and work–life balance, flexibility, workplace innovation, employee involvement, human resource management, social dialogue, and most recently also skills use, skills strategies and digitalisation.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.