Before Portugal's general election on 10 October 1999, the main political
parties set out their policies on social, employment and labour issues.
Themes such as employment creation, training and equal opportunities were
highlighted in nearly all party programmes.
The European Commission decided at the end of July 1999 to launch or pursue
proceedings against a number of Member States in relation to poor
implementation of Community Directives in the social field. This relates
particularly to the pregnant workers' Directive (92/85/EEC) , the
Directive on minimum health and safety requirements applicable to the use of
equipment by workers (89/655/EEC) , the transfer of undertakings Directive
(77/187/EEC , amended by 98/59/EC ) and Directives on collective
redundancies (now consolidated in 98/59/EC ).
At its annual conference held in September 1999 (UK9909128N ), the Trades
Union Congress (TUC) gave strong backing to a motion  urging the
government to prepare for early UK entry into the single European currency,
despite misgivings on the part of some major unions. Delegates voted for a
motion which supported the UK having "the option of actively pursuing [euro]
entry early in the new decade through action to bring the UK economic cycle
more closely into line with that of our EU partners".
At the beginning of September 1999, Italy's Radicals political party
announced that it had collected enough signatures to hold 20 referenda in
spring 2000, with the aim of repealing various legislative provisions. Many
of the issues covered by the referenda concern trade union or labour issues,
like the collection of trade union membership dues, or individual dismissal
procedures. The trade union confederations are firmly opposed to the
Radicals' initiative, which they regard as "anti-union".
In September 1999, the Dutch petroleum company, NAM, announced a sweeping
reorganisation that could cut 450 jobs from its 2,500-strong workforce. The
trade unions expressed their intention to fight the plan vigorously. NAM,
which is based in the Netherlands' northern provinces, provides a significant
portion of employment in the region and also generates employment outside the
company. Provincial authorities responded to the plan with disappointment.
Given an increasing amount of contracting out of public services and the
privatisation of state-owned corporations, and after a freeze on the new
employment of public servants which has so far lasted two years, it seems
there is no future for trade unions in solely organising public servants and
other employees in the public sector. The large public sector trade unions
have drawn this lesson and have, so to speak, moved with their old members
into the private sector, representing more and more private sector workers.
This has caused discord within the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO) (DK9709129F ).
Comparative Study 
The comparative study was compiled on the basis of individual national
reports submitted by EIRO's national centres. The text of each of these
national reports is available below in Word format. The reports have not been
edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living
and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a
questionnaire  and should be read in conjunction with it.
Negotiations between the Swedish Road Transport Employer's Association
(Biltrafikens Arbetsgivarförbund, BA), and the Swedish Transport Worker's
Union (Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet, Transport) over a new collective
agreement for taxi drivers and taxi telephone exchange operators finally
failed on 8 August 1999. On 17 August, Transport gave notice to the taxi-cab
companies of a blockade of all passenger traffic, including related work at
the taxi telephone exchanges, to and from the largest Swedish airports -
Arlanda and Bromma (Stockholm), Landvetter (Gothenburg) and Sturup (Malmö).
If the subsequent mediation process is not successful, the blockade was due
to start in the night of 2-3 September 1999. At the time of writing (late
August) nothing had been reported so far on the work of the two mediators.
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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.
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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
Closing gender gaps in the labour market by achieving the equal participation of women is among the key objectives of the new Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025. Despite significant progress in reducing the gender employment gap, it has stagnated over the past few years. Moreover, segregation in employment across sectors and occupations is still pervasive.
The long-term care (LTC) sector employs an increasing share of workers in the EU, with increasing shortages. The LTC workforce is mainly female and a relatively large and increasing proportion is 50 or older. Migrants are often concentrated in certain LTC jobs. This report maps the working conditions, the nature of employment and the role of collective bargaining in the sector. It also discusses policies to make the sector more attractive, combat undeclared work and to improve the situation of a particular vulnerable group of LTC workers: live-in carers.
The EU strives for the upward convergence of its Member States, where their performance improves and gaps between them decrease. Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, the COVID-19 crisis has again put this objective under pressure. This policy brief focuses on convergence in material well-being in Europe. Trends in several indicators largely follow the economic cycle, with upward convergence in good times and downward divergence in bad times.
Social, economic and technological changes are giving rise to new forms of employment. These differ from 'traditional' work either in the relationship between employer and employee or in the unconventional work patterns and places of work that characterise them. While these new forms of employment can contribute to more inclusive labour markets, legalise undeclared work and offer preferential working conditions, some also raise concerns about, for example, job quality and representation. This report updates Eurofound's 2015 mapping of emerging trends.
New digital technologies have expanded the possibilities of employee monitoring and surveillance, both in and outside the workplace. In the context of the increasing digitalisation of work, there are many issues related to employee monitoring that warrant the attention of policymakers. There are the often-cited privacy and ethical concerns but also important implications for worker–employer relations, as digitally enabled monitoring and surveillance inevitably shift power dynamics in the workplace.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the local and regional administration sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements.
This flagship report consolidates findings in the industrial relations field from research conducted by Eurofound over the course of its multiannual work programme for 2017–2020. It considers the strengths and weaknesses of European social dialogue, including the linkages with national social dialogue and the capacity constraints of the actors. A national comparative analysis draws on projects that have mapped the key features of national industrial relations systems.
How can working conditions be improved to make work more sustainable over the life course? This question has been the guiding principle for analysis of the 2015 European Working Conditions Survey data during the period of Eurofound’s work programme for 2017–2020. This flagship report brings together the different research strands from this work and gives a comprehensive answer to the question. It includes an analysis of trends in working conditions, examining whether these are the same for all workers or whether inequalities between different groups of workers are increasing.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.