On 14 January 1998, procedures began for the definitive dissolution of
Intersind, the organisation representing the publicly-owned enterprises of
Italy's Iri Group. The companies belonging to Intersind will now "directly
and totally" join the main Confindustria organisation, a move which marks the
end of the experience of public sector employers' associations in Italy.
Total membership of the world's largest sectoral free trade union, the German
metalworkers' union, IG Metall, stood at 2.7 million on 31 December 1997, a
fall of 960,000 (or 27%) since 1991. For the first time since German
unification, annual membership figures have now fallen below the 1989
pre-unification level, when IG Metall existed in western Germany only. The
1991 post-unification net growth of 897,675 members ( 33%) has thus melted
away. The development of IG Metall's membership is examined in a new report
from the Institute of the German Economy (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft,
IW) - "Rücksturz auf 1989 - Zur Entwicklung der IGM-Mitgliedszahlen 1997", W
Pege, in IW-Gewerkschaftsreport 1/98 (forthcoming). The table below provides
details of changes in membership levels since 1989.
The UK - then led by a Conservative Government - was one of two European
Union (EU) Member States (along with Denmark) that decided to "opt out" of
the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which was agreed as part of the
Maastricht Treaty on European Union of 1992. The third stage of EMU,
involving a single currency - the euro - is due to get underway at the
beginning of 1999.
On 3 February 1998, the Danish Association of Professional Technicians
(Teknisk Landsforbund, TL) publicly announced its intention to seek a shift
from a 37-hour working week with overtime payments for any additional hours
to a fixed monthly salary (known as joblønor "job-salary"), whereby
technicians would not receive overtime payments for working more than 37
hours per week.
A month-long dispute over industrial restructuring hit Spain's publicly-owned
coalmining companies in December 1997-January 1998. The dispute arose
following the Government's amendments of agreements reached in May 1997,
following the release of a critical report by the European Commission. A
satisfactory settlement was eventually reached on 27 January 1998.
Teleworking (fjernarbeidor telependling) is becoming an issue of increasing
importance on the agenda of the Norwegian social partners. Home-based
teleworking is the main focus of attention. Although the level of home-based
telework activity has remained relatively constant in the last 10 years, it
is expected to increase in the future. The existing statutory provisions, as
well as collective agreements, are regarded by many as inadequate for this
type of work, and home-based teleworking in particular seems to be completely
unregulated. A declaration on teleworking has been incorporated into the new
Basic Agreement between the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO) and the Confederation of Norwegian Business
and Industry (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon, NHO), which was formally
ratified in February 1998. The legal state of affairs in relation to
teleworking is also undergoing scrutiny, and the likely outcome is amendments
to the 1977 Working Environment Act.
Among the conclusions of the special European Council Employment Summit 
held in Luxembourg in November 1997 (EU9711168F ) was a requirement for an
action plan on employment, based on the European Commission's guidelines, to
be drawn up in each European Union Member State.
While current sectoral agreements in Belgium favour the redistribution of
work, a variety of companies have been adopting novel approaches to the
reduction of working time in agreements signed in late 1997 and early 1998.
At the beginning of February 1998, the media reported that the 56-year-old
managing director of the Stora forestry company, who was about to leave his
job after six years, would receive a "golden handshake" (or severance
package) worth SEK 58 million. In the first two years following his
resignation, he would receive SEK 2.8 million and from the age of 60 a large
pension. What made the information conspicuous, apart from the large sum, was
that the managing director was said not to have been dismissed but to have
left on his own initiative, and that his terms of resignation had been
renegotiated and improved shortly before he had made his decision.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation 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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the food and drinks 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 food and drinks sector in the EU Member States.
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.
This report offers a backward look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the work and life of Europeans. The main focus is on Eurofound’s e-survey ‘ Living, working and COVID-19’ which was launched on 9 April 2020 just after the onset of the crisis. Through four rounds of the survey (two in 2020 and two in 2021), the range of questions changed to match the evolving situation and to understand the effects on the everyday lives of citizens and workers. A fifth round of the e-survey is planned for March–May 2022, with initial findings available in July.
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.
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.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the professional football 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’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the professional football sector in the EU Member States.
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.
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.