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.
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
A November 1997 orientation debate on employment policy in Luxembourg's
Chamber of Deputies has prompted several motions. The most important of these
urges the Government to work towards an agreement between the social partners
that contains both the outlines of a framework law on working time and ways
of gradually reducing working hours, to be negotiated through collective or
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.
In recent years the Spanish economy has undergone a process of recovery.
After the recession of the early 1990s, a cycle of growth began, parallel to
that of other countries in the European Union. In 1997, GDP rose by 3.4% -
compared with 2.1% in 1994, 2.8% in 1995 and 2.1% in 1996. This was mainly
due to the increase in domestic consumption, investment and industrial
activity and the resurgence of construction. The prospects for growth in 1998
are also optimistic, with forecasts of around 3.6%. This has been
particularly helped by the fall in inflation, which at 2.1% in 1997, was the
lowest for 30 years. This low inflation rate has led to a reduction in
interest rates, which were very high in the 1980s. The public deficit has
also been reduced through restrictive budgets and privatisation of public
companies (ES9709123N ). The public deficit stood at 2.6% of GDP in 1997.
According to Eurostat figures, the unemployment rate stood at 20.8% in 1997,
compared with 22.2% in 1996 and 24.3% in 1995. The number of those in
employment increased by about 371,000 in 1997 in comparison with 1996.
Nevertheless, fewer jobs were created than in the previous year, despite
greater economic growth.
Future Community actions on education and training are to be limited to
measures under three key priorities, according to a Communication issued by
the European Commission on 21 November 1997. The priorities are:
During 1997, the annual GDP growth rate reached 3.4%. Economic growth was
accompanied by a fall in inflation: the annual increase in the GDP deflator
(which measures changes in prices of all goods and services included in
national GDP) fell from 14.4% in 1993 to 6.5% in 1997; while the consumer
prices index rose by 5.2% in 1997. Particularly spectacular was the reduction
of the public deficit from 13.8% of GDP in 1993 to 5% in 1997. However,
increased production, reduced inflation and improved public finances were
accompanied by a constant rise in unemployment, from 9.6% in 1994 to 10.4% in
1997, while long-term unemployment now accounts for 50% of all unemployed
persons. The improvement in public finances was also accompanied by a
significant rise in tensions in the field of industrial relations.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
This series brings together publications and other outputs of the European Jobs Monitor (EJM), which tracks structural change in European labour markets. The EJM analyses shifts in the employment structure in the EU in terms of occupation and sector and gives a qualitative assessment of these shifts using various proxies of job quality – wages, skill-levels, etc.
Eurofound's European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the EQLS 2016, the fourth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2003.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2015, the sixth edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 1996, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2001, which was an extension of the EWCS 2000 to cover the then 12 acceding and candidate countries. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) paints a wide-ranging picture of Europe at work across countries, occupations, sectors and age groups. This series consists of findings from the EWCS 2000, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 1990.
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 first edition of the survey carried out in 2004–2005 under the name European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
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 2009, the second edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
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 2013, the third edition of the survey. The survey was first carried out in 2004–2005 as the European Establishment Survey on Working Time and Work-Life Balance.
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.
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.