The new President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi- chosen by the EU
Member States and approved by the European Parliament- announced his new
19-member team of Commissioners on 9 July 1999, by common accord with the
Member States. The first meeting of the proposed new-look Commission took
place on 16 July. Few of the sitting Commissioners survived the shake-out
following the allegations of irregularities which had beset the outgoing
administration. On announcing his team, Mr Prodi said that: "when I accepted
the job of Commission President, I promised to launch a new era of change in
the Commission. The Commission needs it. The European Parliament and Member
States have asked for it. The European public has urged us to carry it out.
This is what I intend to deliver, starting from today.".
In late May 1999, the VOO parents' organisation proposed implementing a
four-day working week in Dutch primary education as the only plausible way to
reduce working time in the sector. The issue of how to cope with ongoing
working time cuts at a time of teacher shortages has caused concern in
parliament, while one parents' association has unsuccessfully challenged in
the courts a school's decision to introduce a four-day week every other week.
General elections were held in Belgium on 13 June 1999, resulting in the
defeat of the incumbent Christian Democrat/Socialist coalition. Negotiations
then began at federal and community levels on creating a so-called "rainbow"
coalition government. For the first time in its post-war history, Belgium
will be ruled by a political majority of Liberals, Socialists and Greens,
with the Christian Democrats being left on the sidelines.
Following legislation adopted in May 1999, Portugal's legal regime on
collective redundancies has been adopted to bring it fully into line with the
1992 EU collective redundancies Directive. Furthermore, the law abolishes a
previous rule that a worker who has accepted redundancy compensation cannot
legally challenge the redundancy.
In July 1999, four weeks of strike action by 130 midwives ended when members
of the midwives' trade union (Den almindelige Danske Jordmoderforening, DADJ)
voted by a large majority to accept the collective agreement which DADJ had
negotiated with the Association of County Authorities (Amtsrådsforeningen)
and Copenhagen's joint hospital administration (Hovedstadens
Sygehusfællesskab, HS). More than 60% of the union's members voted in the
ballot and more than 71% of those voting were in favour of the proposed
In July 1999, the collective agreement archive of the Institute for Economic
and Social Research (Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut, WSI)
within the Hans-Böckler Foundation published an interim report on the 1999
collective bargaining round ("Die Drei vor dem Komma. Eine Zwischenbilanz der
Lohn- und Gehaltsrunde 1999", Reinhard Bispinck/WSI-Tarifarchiv, WSI
Informationen zur Tarifpolitik, Juli 1999). According to the WSI study,
collective bargaining has almost exclusively concerned wages and salaries in
1999, with other issues playing only a minor role. This is mainly because
trade unions have concentrated their demands very much on pay claims. After
some years of only very moderate increases, which sometimes even included
decreases in real pay, several unions called for an "end of modesty" and
entered the 1999 bargaining round with pay claims between 5.5% and 6.5%
(DE9810279F ). Employers' associations, however, constantly rejected such
demands and, instead, argued for a continuation of a policy of wage
The revised national Budget for 1999 was passed by the Norwegian parliament
(Stortinget) on 18 June 1999. The annual procedure for revising the Budget
enables the government to adjust its economic policy in the light of
developments that have taken place since the release of the Budget in the
autumn of the previous year (NO9811100N ). In conjunction with the revised
national Budget, the government also produced an up-to-date analysis of state
of affairs of the national economy. Statistics Norway (Statistisk
Sentralbyrå, SSB) and the Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) have also published
their own economic analysis for spring 1999.
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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. 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 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.
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.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
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.
Between 2021 and 2023 Eurofound is carrying out a pilot project on minimum wage on behalf of the European Commission. The question of how minimum wages and other forms of pay can be fixed for the self-employed is investigated as a part of this project through mapping national and sectoral approaches. Out of concern for the challenging conditions that the self-employed face, some Member States have established or are discussing establishing statutory forms of minimum pay for certain categories of self-employed.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in European sectoral social dialogue taking place at cross-sectoral level. 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations at cross-sectoral level in the EU Member States.