In December 1997, employees recruited on projects for the long-term
unemployed went on strike in Amsterdam on the grounds that they were owed
shift bonuses by the municipality. An agreement in principle was later
reached on their payment for irregular work.
Finland's central social partner organisations reached a national incomes
policy agreement for 1998-2000 in early December 1997 (FI9801145F ). The
deal required approval by the member organisations of the signatory
confederations, and a deadline of 11 December was set for the completion of
this ratification process. The settlement was threatened by the failure of
the Paperworkers' Union (Paperiliitto) - which is considered a key union in
the incomes policy deal - to meet the deadline, as it sought the resolution
of outstanding sectoral issues. However, a truce was later achieved in the
paper industry, with the union prevailing on employers to maintain the
current position on "outsourcing", allowing the ratification of the central
agreement. The Paperworkers' Union is an affiliate of the SAK confederation.
According to recently published information, the regional metalworking sector
employers' association Nordmetall- which represents 350 enterprises in the
German states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and
is a member of the federal sectoral employers' association Gesamtmetall- has
founded an employers' association called Arbeitgeberverband Norddeutschland
which will neither conclude, nor be bound by, industry-level collective
As part of an experiment with a new salary system for civil servants, due to
begin on 1 January 1998, senior civil servants were to negotiate part of
their salaries on a personal basis without the participation of their trade
union. This, according to Danish Confederation of Professional Associations
(Akademikernes Centralorganisation, AC), was in conflict with the Crown
Servants Act, which provides for a right to collective bargaining. The Crown
Servants Court upheld AC's contention in a ruling issued on 5 December 1997,
which in practice will exclude 2,800 of the 3,200 civil servants concerned
from taking part in the experiments from 1 January 1998.
Over the five years to 1997, growth and productivity levels in the UK have
shown above average figures for the EU. In 1997, GDP continued to grow at
between 3% and 3.5%. Average earnings growth fluctuated within the range of
4.25% to 4.75%, with average pay awards remaining at around 3% for most of
1997, but moving towards the 4% mark in the last quarter.
In late 1997, the International Monetary Fund once more asked Spain for
greater flexibility in its labour market, but stated that it should be based
on social dialogue. The Prime Minister and several of his ministers have
stated their support for the introduction of such a new reform, but the trade
unions are radically opposed to any changes until the results of 1997's
"April agreements" have been analysed.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Adequate, affordable housing has become a matter of great concern, with an alarming number of Europeans with low or lower household incomes unable to access any, especially in capital cities. Housing was a key factor in people’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic: its quality and level of safety significantly affected how lockdowns and social distancing measures were experienced, with those who had no access to quality housing at higher risk of deteriorating living conditions and well-being.
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.