In the context of the special Employment Summit  held in Luxembourg on
20-21 November 1997, the European Centre of Enterprises with Public
Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic Interest (CEEP) issued
an "opinion on employment policies in Europe". In the document CEEP outlines
its priorities in the area of employment policy, with the aim of creating
more jobs and achieving a more even balance between the economic and social
aspects of the EU single market.
The year 1997 saw: an increase in GDP of 3.5% (according to Eurostat
figures); an inflation rate of 1.9%, which was lower than the previous year;
and a low government deficit of 0.8% of GDP (according to national figures).
The unemployment rate for the year was 6.7% (down from 7.3% in 1996). Low
skill levels and inadequate management strategies have been identified as
being among the key causes of high unemployment.
In June 1997, the Swedish Employers' Confederation (Svenska
Arbetsgivareföreningen, SAF) gave the trade union negotiating cartel, the
Federation of Salaried Employees in Industry and Services
(Privattjänstemannakartellen, PTK) notice of termination of the so-called
adjustment agreement (omställningsavtalet), the purpose of which is to
facilitate the adjustment for workers and employers in the event of
collective redundancies (SE9709137F ). SAF argued that the agreement was
too costly for the employers and wanted /inter alia/ to convert the Council
for Redundancy Support and Advice (Trygghetsrådet) - which is based on the
agreement - from a foundation to a private company, subject to open
After many difficult attempts to resolve the problem of illegal immigration
and work in Greece, the process of legalising the status of aliens living and
working in Greece is set to begin soon, following a government initiative in
On 9 December 1997 the pension reform for those employees of the Austrian
Federal Railways (Österreichische Bundesbahnen, ÖBB) with civil servant
status was concluded. This was the final part of the pensions reform the
Government had set out to achieve at the beginning of 1007 (AT9711144F ).
Because ÖBB pensions are not regulated by law or by collective agreement but
by individual employment contracts, the reform posed serious problems. It was
finally achieved by way of a delicate balance between legal reform and works
agreement. This was accompanied by serious tensions within the coalition
The Finnish Medical Association (Suomen Lääkäriliitto, SLL) is one of the
few trade unions that have decided not to approve the central incomes policy
agreement, signed on 12 December 1997 by trade union and employers'
confederations (FI9801145F ). The employers of the doctors concerned, the
Commission for Local Authority Employers (Kunnallinen työmarkkinalaitos,
KT), made a proposal for an agreement but the doctors decided to reject it.
According to SLL, the proposal did not resolve the dispute concerning
doctors' working hours. The income of medical doctors will decrease
significantly in 1998 if they become fully subject the new Working Hours Act
( which has been in force from the beginning of 1997). Until now, no drastic
changes have taken place due to local agreements. If these local agreements
cannot be prolonged, the limitations of the Act will take full effect. The EU
Directive on certain aspects of the organisation of working time 
(93/104/EC) forbids long sessions of emergency duty and the doctors want the
resulting loss of income to be compensated by increasing wages for normal
working time. Previously, the pay of hospital doctors consisted to a large
extent of remuneration for emergency duties.
The Dutch economy continued to develop favourably in 1997. The level of
economic growth stood at 3.3%, which is higher than the EU average. Although
inflation in the Netherlands, at 2.2%, was considerably higher than the EU
average, it was fairly stable. The General Government Financial Balance for
1997 was -2.0% of GDP (NLG 14.2 billion - ECU 6.4 billion). Eurostat put
public debt at 72.1% of GDP. Unemployment decreased significantly again in
1997, and the number of unemployed persons stood at 336,000 (6.4%) in the
last quarter of 1997.
On 22 May 1997, an "Employment Alliance" for eastern Germany was concluded
between the German Federal Government, the German Trade Union Federation
(DGB), the German Salaried Employees' Union (DAG), the Confederation of
German Employers' Associations (BDA), the Confederation of German Industries
(BDI), the German Association of Chambers of Commerce (DIHT), the Central
Association of German Crafts (ZDH) and the Associations of the Credit
Institutions (Kreditgewerbe). The primary objectives of the pact were to
speed up the transformation process of the eastern German economy, to boost
growth, to reduce unit labour costs, to stabilise employment in 1997 at the
level of 1996, and to create 100,000 new jobs in each of the following years.
Among other measures to be executed by the state and the private sector, the
"Joint initiative for more jobs in eastern Germany" provided for several
guidelines regarding industrial relations in eastern Germany - such as
employment-oriented collective bargaining, working time flexibility,
"hardship clauses" and special regulations for small and medium-sized
enterprises (DE9706117F ).
At a tripartite meeting held on 17 December 1997 to discuss the spring 1998
collective bargaining round, Danish government representatives advised the
social partners to keep pay increases at a moderate level in order to
stimulate job creation. However, the government representatives were
reluctant to specify a precise figure for pay increases, stating that it was
not the aim of government to tie the social partners to a certain figure or
to intervene in the collective bargaining process, which they regarded as the
sole prerogative of the social partners.
There are two inter-related factors within UK workplace relations which,
arguably, are both caused by, and solvable by British managers. The first is
an increase in workplace stress - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), for
example, has recently released figures (in its /Health and safety statistics
1996/7/) showing that half a million people believe that they are suffering
from work-related stress. The second is the need for high-performing
companies. Both of these are in large part dependent on the type of managers
within the workplace. All too often in the UK - according to some
commentators - job insecurity, work intensification and "bossy" management
are seen as the answer to improving performance, but are also the cause of
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.
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.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the audiovisual 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 audiovisual sector in the EU Member States.
This report examines the phenomenon of overtime in the EU, providing a comparative description of how it is regulated in EU Member States. It also assesses how contentious the issue can be and investigates the reasons behind the various disputes and debates. Finally, the report attempts to quantify and characterise the share of overtime for which workers are not paid or compensated. The analysis is based on information collected in EU Member States by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents.
This policy brief uses the data from the European Company Survey 2019 to examine the workplace practices of export-oriented companies and to analyse how these practices relate to outcomes. It also examines why these companies choose the workplace practices they adopt.
This report addresses the main developments in statutory and collectively agreed working time regulation in 2019 and 2020. It covers several aspects of the duration of working time in the EU, such as information on maximum numbers of working days and weeks, normal working weeks and paid annual leave across the countries and within selected sectors. The report focuses on the education, health, transport, retail and public administration sectors, and provides accounts of major developments in working time regulation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Building on Eurofound’s previous research on youth, this report examines the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people, in particular their economic and social situation, with a focus on employment. It will also estimate how the NEET population – young people not in employment, education or training – has changed in size and composition over the last decade, and how the current crisis might affect this.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the live performance 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 live performance sector in the EU Member States.
The European Jobs Monitor tracks changes in employment structure and contributes to the debate about whether European labour markets are polarising or upgrading. The European Jobs Monitor report in 2021 looks in particular at two dimensions of change in labour supply – increased female participation and population/workforce ageing – to show how they can contribute to an understanding of recent changes in employment structure.
This report analyses and compares the industrial relations landscape in a number of sectors and activities that form a public service cluster. The report draws on Eurofound’s recent representativeness studies investigating the following sectors: education, human health, central government administration and local and regional government sector (including social services).
This report explores the impact of the use of digital technologies on work organisation and job quality, as well as the role of social dialogue and employee involvement in the digitisation process. The three technologies analysed are the Internet of Things, 3D printing, and virtual and augmented reality. The report draws on the views of experts and policy stakeholders and includes insights from 10 case studies of European establishments that have deployed one or more of the three digital technologies.