Following the special Jobs Summit  which took place in Luxembourg on 20-21
November 1997 (EU9711168F ), the European Commission adopted a final
proposal for Guidelines for Member States' employment policies for 1998 
on 3 December 1997. The proposal, which was adopted by the Council of Labour
and Social Affairs Ministers on 15 December 1997 (EU9712175N ), launches
the European employment strategy agreed at the Amsterdam European Council
meeting in June 1997 (EU9706133N ). These guidelines now have to be
incorporated into national employment action plans drawn up by the Member
States in the form of national objectives. Member States are committed to
submitting these plans in time for their examination by the European Council
meeting to take place in Cardiff in June 1998. The implementation of these
guidelines will be monitored regularly and an annual report will be produced
by the Commission. This approach draws on the existing practice of
multiannual surveillance established after the December 1994 Essen summit, to
monitor the implementation of the recommendation drawn up at that meeting.
After more than eight months of negotiations, new collective agreements were
concluded in November and December 1997 for the 1.8 million or so employees
in the west German retail trade, ending the 1997 collective bargaining round.
New agreements were concluded in most regional bargaining areas between the
trade union responsible, Gewerkschaft Handel Banken Versicherungen (HBV), and
the regional employers' associations - which are members of the national peak
employers' association for the retail trade, Hauptverband des Deutschen
It was with confidence that the Social Democrat Government presented its
report on the Swedish economy in 1997. When it took office in 1994, Sweden
had one of the biggest public sector deficits in the European Union. In 1997,
it was reduced to 0.4% of GDP, measured by EU accounting principles, and the
consolidated debt ratio had fallen for three consecutive years. "This is a
signal to other countries that Sweden's decision to stay outside the monetary
union at the start is not because of a wish to pursue a less responsible
policy than other EU member states," the Minister of Finance, Erik Åsbrink,
The economic situation in Austria proved stable in 1997, with growth rates
reaching 2% in real terms. These are expected to rise further to 2.7% in
1998. Economic growth was largely export-driven as the increase in domestic
incomes was limited. Inflation was reduced to 1.4% and is expected to remain
at this level in 1998. The level of unemployment was steady at 4.4% and is
expected to decrease only slightly in 1998. The budget deficit amounted to
2.5% of GDP, which is half of the 1995 level, and it is expected that this
decrease will continue.
An agreement was concluded on 10 October 1997 between Norway Post and the
Joint Federation of Postal Employees.The latter is the cooperation body for
the two unions that organise the majority of employees in the postal service,
the Norwegian Union of Postal Employees (DNP) and the Norwegian Union of
Postal Workers (NPF), both of which are affiliated to the Norwegian
Confederation of Trade Unions (LO). The agreement aims at creating a new
infrastructure for postal operations, which involves a reduction in the
number of sorting offices in operation. Also included in this agreement are
measures to safeguard the jobs of approximately 1,500 employees adversely
affected by this reorganisation.
The results of the December 1997 elections to France's /Prud'hommes/
industrial tribunals have confirmed the trends observed for more than a
decade. The only new development is the CFDT union confederation's victory in
the management staff electoral college.
A confidential interim report into industrial and employee relations in An
Post, Ireland's state-owned postal company, highlights the adversarial nature
of its industrial relations structures and practices and how these are
inhibiting the development of a more customer focused business. The report,
which was submitted to the company's chair, Stephen O'Connor, in February
1997 was carried out by a subsidiary of the Irish Business and Employers
Confederation (IBEC) - Employee Relations Services (ERS). It was featured in
the industrial relations weekly, /Industrial Relations News/, in December
Compulsory competitive tendering (CCT) was one of the key privatisation
measures of the Conservative governments of 1979-97, which brought much
insecurity into the lives of those who provided services to local
authorities. Much to the joy of local authority workers and trade unions, in
June 1997 the new Labour Government announced that the rules on CCT would be
changed after a wide-ranging consultation exercise (UK9706141N ). On 21
November 1997, local government minister Hilary Armstrong laid before
Parliament new regulations which amend the existing framework for CCT to make
it more flexible, and encourage local authorities to move to a "Best Value"
based approach to service delivery, in which value to customers would take
priority over competition per se. She said: "In due course we will be
replacing CCT with a new legislative framework on Best Value. In the
meantime, I want local authorities to develop Best Value ahead of primary
Luxembourg has continued to experience a period of economic growth. The
public debt accounted for 6.7% of GDP in 1997, and projections for 1998 are
in the order of 7.7%. Eurostat calculates a public spending surplus of 1.7%
in 1997 and the state budget for 1998 is virtually balanced. The population
is 418,300 (of whom 142,800 are foreigners), while total employment stood at
224,000 at the end of 1997, of whom 63,200 are cross-border workers.
Unemployment is rising slowly and stood at 3.6% at the end of 1997. The rate
of inflation was 1.4% in 1997.
Meeting in Brussels on 15 December 1997, the Council of Labour and Social
Affairs Ministers unanimously adopted a Directive to implement the framework
agreement on part-time work  concluded by the Union of Industrial and
Employers' Confederations of Europe (UNICE), the European Centre of
Enterprises with Public Participation and of Enterprises of General Economic
Interest (CEEP) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on 6 June
1997 (EU9706131F ). This agreement aims to institute the principle of
non-discrimination for part-time workers and to facilitate the development of
part-time work on a voluntary basis and to contribute to the flexible
organisation of working time in a manner which takes into account the needs
of employers and workers. It also seeks to ensure that the equal treatment of
part-time workers in terms of pay (pro rata) and working conditions is
applied, unless there are "objective reasons" for differential treatment.
Clause 5 of the agreement calls upon Member States to review any obstacles
which may limited opportunities for part-time work and, where appropriate, to
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 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.
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.
Platform work – the matching of supply of and demand for paid labour through an online platform or app – is gaining increasing importance in Europe. It has attracted policy attention due to its inherent opportunities and challenges. Across Europe, initiatives have been introduced by governments, social partners and grassroots organisations aimed at harnessing the potential and reducing the risks of this employment form. The areas covered include regulation, representation, advice and information provision, as well as measures addressing social protection, ratings and training.
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.