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.
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.
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 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.
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.
On 15 December 1997, the employers' association for newspaper publishers,
Bundesverband Deutscher Zeitungsverleger (BDZV) and the two trade unions
which organise journalists, IG Medien and Deutscher Journalisten-Verband
(DJV), signed new collective agreements for the 17,000 or so journalists on
daily newspapers. The negotiations, lasting more than three months, were
overshadowed by strong demands for further cost reductions by the employers
on the one hand, and accompanied by several union protest actions and warning
strikes (Warnstreiks) on the other hand. Finally, the collective bargaining
parties agreed on the following provisions:
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
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
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
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 report captures the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the quality of life of older citizens, including the impact on their well-being, finances, employment and social inclusion. It explores the effects on care use and reliance on other support. The report analyses policy measures that have been implemented in EU Member States that have proven particularly important for the quality of life of older citizens, for example, measures to support independent living.
Following improvements in economic growth and labour market participation after the global financial and economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a new, unprecedented challenge for the EU. The crisis threatens to pose an existential challenge to the EU’s cohesion and legitimacy. The subject of upward convergence is once again centre stage in the European policy debate. Expanding on work done on this topic in previous years, this flagship report traces developments in economic and social indicators between the economic crisis and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
As the EU embarks on the transition to a climate-neutral economy, it is crucial to understand the impact of such a transition on production models, employment, work organisation, working conditions, social dialogue and citizens’ lives and living conditions.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
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.
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.
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
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.