On 14 September 2003, Sweden held a referendum on whether the country should
join the euro single currency. All political parties had ended their
campaigns before the date of the referendum following the murder a few days
earlier of the Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh, an event which had left the
nation in shock. The government stressed the importance of all citizens
voting in the poll, in the circumstances, and the turn-out proved to be 82.1%
of those entitled to vote. Only in 1994, when the Swedes voted to join the
European Union, had the turn-out in a referendum been higher, at 83.3%.
The Ministry of Labour's report on collective bargaining in France in 2002,
published in June 2003, finds that there was general stability in the number
of agreements concluded. There was a slight increase in the amount of
intersectoral bargaining, while a rise in the number of national-level
sectoral agreements was offset by a decline in sectoral bargaining at
subnational level. With regard to company-level bargaining, changes in the
data-collection methods make comparison with previous years virtually
A major law on pension reform was finally passed by the French parliament on
24 July 2003, after lengthy debate in both houses. Although the majority of
the government's bill - which included changes agreed with a number of trade
unions - was retained, many amendments were made. Opposition to the law
remains strong among unions and the political opposition.
In autumn 2003, an economic downturn has led to stagnation in the French
labour market and an upswing in unemployment, which is nearing 10%. Job
losses are increasing as bankruptcies and redundancy plans become commonplace
throughout much of the economy, with some regions particularly hard hit.
Belgium's next round of four-yearly 'social elections' of employee
representatives on works councils and committees for prevention and
protection at the workplace will take place in May 2004. This article sets
out the election timetable and procedure and examines a number of changes
made since the last elections in 2000 .
In July 2003, the Collective Agreement Archive (Tarifarchiv) of the Institute
for Economic and Social Research (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches
Institut, WSI) within the Hans Böckler Foundation published its interim
report on the 2003 collective bargaining round - WSI publishes such
interim reports every year (DE0207203F ). The study evaluates all
collective agreements concluded by trade unions affiliated to the
Confederation of German Trade Unions (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB) in
the first half of 2003. These collective agreements cover 3.6 million
employees, or 17% of all employees covered by collective agreements. However,
many sectors - such as metalworking, banking, construction and the postal
service - do not have a pay bargaining round in 2003 because collective
agreements concluded in 2002 already fixed pay increases for 2003.
On 11 August 2003, the Minister for Labour Affairs, Frank Fahey, published a
consultation paper  on how the EU information and consultation Directive
(2002/14/EC)  (EU0204207F ) should be transposed into Irish law.
Interested parties had until 24 September 2003 to make submissions to the
government, which intends to publish an Information and Consultation of
Employees Bill in the summer of 2004, with a view to enactment by March 2005.
This is the transposition deadline set by the Directive, though there are
transitional arrangements for Member States, such as Ireland, currently
without 'general, permanent and statutory' information and consultation
systems, allowing these countries to phase in the application of the
Directive to smaller undertakings up to March 2008
On 23 July 2003, an agreement  on the establishment of a European employee
representation body within the framework of a so-called Deutsche Post World
Net Forum (DPWN Forum) was signed in Brussels between the German-based postal
services and logistics multinational Deutsche Post AG and a special
negotiating body consisting of employee representatives from 17 countries.
The agreement is based on Article 6 of the EU Directive on European Works
Councils (EWCs) (94/45/EC ). The DPWN Forum is composed of a European
Works Council Forum (EWCF) with 50 members and a European Management Forum
(EMF) with 25 members. Whereas the EWCF consists of employee representatives
from the various countries and operations of Deutsche Post AG, the members of
the EMF are managers representing different business units and areas of
activity, appointed by the company.
In recent years, although overall trade union membership levels have
increased in Ireland to a historically high level, there has nevertheless
been a fall in union density, as employment levels have outpaced union
recruitment (IE0102164F ). It was primarily for this reason that a
'high-level group' was first established under /Partnership 2000/, the
1997-2000 tripartite national agreement (IE9702103F ), to examine trade
union recognition. The group agreed in March 1999 (IE9903135F ) to retain
a largely 'voluntarist' system in this area, with change basically limited to
giving existing third-party institutions – the Labour Relations Commission
(LRC) and the Labour Court– greater powers to resolve recognition and
representation disputes. Irish trade unions had hoped that the resulting
'right to bargain' legislation would lead to more companies recognising
A campaign by the train drivers’ trade union, the Associated Society of
Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef), aimed at restoring a national
framework for industrial relations in the rail industry (UK0201169F ),
reflects persistent and significant differences in pay and conditions for
drivers in different railway companies. The current company-level bargaining
arrangements have existed since rail privatisation in the mid-1990s
(TN0003402S ). Trade union demands for sector-level collective bargaining
gathered momentum recently when it became clear that the national Strategic
Rail Authority (SRA), established in 2001 to provide strategic direction for
the industry, was developing a collective bargaining role. In response, and
in order to advance its campaign with the other rail unions, during 2003
Aslef issued its own report into industrial relations in the sector and
commissioned two independent studies. The first was by the research firm
Incomes Data Services (IDS), and the second by Keith Ewing, president of the
Institute of Employment Rights and professor of public law at King’s
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 2009, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
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 2013, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2003, the first edition of the survey.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2007, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2012, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2005, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2010, the fifth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
This publication series explores scenarios for the future of manufacturing. The employment implications (number of jobs by sector, occupation, wage profile, and task content) under various possible scenarios are examined. The scenarios focus on various possible developments in global trade and energy policies and technological progress and run to 2030.
In 2022, the European Semester was streamlined to integrate the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) established on 19 February 2021 (Regulation (EU) 2021/241). While facing the geopolitical and economic challenges triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States have been implementing the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) for more than one year and around 100 billion euro in RRF funds have already been disbursed.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
With the expansion of telework and different forms of hybrid work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for policymakers to consider both the opportunities and the negative consequences that may result. This report will explore potential scenarios for such work. In doing so, it will identify trends and drivers, and predict how they might interact to create particular outcomes and how they are likely to affect workers and businesses. Policy pointers will outline what could be done to facilitate desirable outcomes and to avoid undesirable ones.
This report explores the drivers of economic and social convergence in Europe, using a selected set of economic and social indicators to examine trends in the performance of individual Member States. It also investigates what role the Economic and Monetary Union plays in convergence, particularly in southern and eastern Member States. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convergence is analysed and initial conclusions are drawn about the impact of EU recovery packages and their ability to prevent divergence.
As economies emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, labour shortages are becoming increasingly evident. These include shortages exacerbated by the crisis in some sectors and professions where they had been endemic for some time. This report will look at measures implemented at national level to tackle labour shortages in the health, care and information and communications technology sectors, as well as those arising from the twin digital and green transitions.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an extraordinary level of provision of social services across the EU. Healthcare and care providers carried much of the burden and, together with essential services, played a crucial role in getting citizens through the crisis. This report explores how public services adapted to the new reality and what role was played by the digital transformation of services. The aim is to contribute to the documentation and analysis of changes in funding, delivery and use of healthcare and social services during the pandemic.
The urban-rural divide in EU countries has grown in recent years, and the depopulation of certain rural areas in favour of cities is a challenge when it comes to promoting economic development and maintaining social cohesion and convergence. Using data from Eurofound and Eurostat, this report will investigate the trends and drivers of the urban-rural divide, in various dimensions: economic and employment opportunities, access to services, living conditions and quality of life.
Building on previous work by Eurofound, this report will investigate intergenerational dynamics over time. During the 2008 double-dip recession, worrying intergenerational divides appeared in many Member States, and while some of the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is universal, early data suggests disparities across demographic cohorts. Eurofound will examine how different age groups may have been affected in terms of their health, labour market participation, quality of life and financial needs, both in the short term and in the long term.