On 14 July 1999, the European Commission adopted a Communication entitled A
concerted strategy for modernising social protection  (COM(99)347 final).
The Communication emphasises the key role played by social protection systems
in supporting public health and well-being and in redistributing wealth. It
is argued that, without social security transfers, nearly 40% of EU
households would be living in relative poverty (compared with the actual rate
of 17%). Spending on social protection accounts for an average of 28.5% of
The integrated police law adopted in December 1998, based on agreement
between Belgium's main political parties, provides for the overhaul of the
various law-and-order forces (the gendarmerie, criminal-investigation
department and municipal police), establishing federal and local levels and
defining a new unified statute for the entire force. Because of the
importance of the issues at stake, the police reform has caused an
unprecedented labour dispute during 1999 between police unions and the
Interior Ministry, leading to a breakdown in negotiations and highlighting
the complexity of police trade unionism in Belgium.
On 20 July 1999, the national council of the Confederation of British
Industry (CBI) adopted a policy statement  reaffirming that the CBI is "in
favour in principle of UK entry into European Economic and Monetary Union
once key conditions for success are in place". The CBI believes that UK
membership of EMU"has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the UK
economy", but that further progress is needed towards "sound fiscal
conditions in all major euro-zone countries", together with a shift in labour
market policies towards more flexibility. The new policy statement is the
culmination of a three-month consultation process involving voting on CBI
regional and national committees and a survey of wider membership opinion
carried out by polling organisation MORI.
In June 1999, a first agreement was signed between Italian (Fillea-Cgil,
Filca-Cisl, Feneal-Uil) and German (GHK) trade unions representing wood and
furniture workers. The agreement calls for the establishment of a European
collective bargaining committee aimed at defining common bargaining
At a conference on 10 June 1999, Hans Skov Christensen, the managing director
of the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk Industri, DI) presented a
proposal for a new system of collective bargaining in Denmark. "It has to be
a marked exception that a dispute breaks out, and if it occurs it has to be a
logical consequence of the system's rules", said Mr Christensen. While,
undoubtedly, disputes could still occur, the possibility of traditional
industrial action would not not be the basis for all bargaining. Such action,
according to DI, belongs to the past. Accordingly, DI proposes that the
current automatic process, whereby notice of an impending dispute is issued
during the bargaining round, be reconsidered.
In summer 1999, at the half-way point of the Spanish social partners'
four-year pact for employment stability, later endorsed by parliament, the
parties have evaluated its results. After two years, employment - and
especially stable employment - has increased significantly. However, there
has been no substantial decrease in the level of temporary employment and
contract turnover continues to increase.
In July 1999, the joint employer-trade union administrative board of France's
National Sickness Insurance Fund (CNAM) approved, by a large majority, a
strategic reform plan. This package of measures is designed to reduce
spending and improve the quality of healthcare. CNAM hopes that the
government will give legislative effect to the plan.
In June 1999, the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) expressed its
total opposition to proposals from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to
reduce the wages of new entrants to the labour market and to cut labour
The total number of requests to terminate employment contracts declined in
the Netherlands in 1998, according to the Annual Report on termination
statistics, issued in summer 1999. However, the number of requests related to
occupational disability has increased.
An informal Labour and Social Affairs Council of Ministers meeting was held
under the Finnish Presidency in Oulu, Finland from 8 to 10 July 1999, with
the participation of the European-level social partners and the European
Parliament. In line with the priorities of Finnish labour market policy in
recent years (FI9708125F ), the Finnish government - which took over the
EU Presidency in July 1999 - was keen to shift the focus of labour market
policy away from youth unemployment towards the problems facing older
workers. Ministers expressed concern at the lack of older workers in the
Eurofound's representativeness 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 developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
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.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the textiles and clothing 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. The aim of this Eurofound study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the textiles and clothing sector in the EU Member States.
This report analyses how working conditions, job quality and working life outcomes – such as work–life balance, health and well-being, and sustainability of work – changed between February 2020 and spring 2021. Following up on responses to the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) 2020, it explores the differences between three distinct groups of workers: those teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic, those who continued to work on their employers' premises as frontline staff, and those who were furloughed or worked reduced hours.
The use of artificial intelligence, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things technologies in the workplace can bring about fundamental changes in work organisation and working conditions. This report analyses the ethical and human implications of the use of these technologies at work by drawing on qualitative interviews with policy stakeholders, input from the Network of Eurofound Correspondents and Delphi expert surveys, and case studies.