The integrated police law adopted in December 1998, based on agreement
between Belgium's main political parties, provides for the overhaul of the
various law-and-order forces (the gendarmerie, criminal-investigation
department and municipal police), establishing federal and local levels and
defining a new unified statute for the entire force. Because of the
importance of the issues at stake, the police reform has caused an
unprecedented labour dispute during 1999 between police unions and the
Interior Ministry, leading to a breakdown in negotiations and highlighting
the complexity of police trade unionism in Belgium.
At a conference on 10 June 1999, Hans Skov Christensen, the managing director
of the Confederation of Danish Industries (Dansk Industri, DI) presented a
proposal for a new system of collective bargaining in Denmark. "It has to be
a marked exception that a dispute breaks out, and if it occurs it has to be a
logical consequence of the system's rules", said Mr Christensen. While,
undoubtedly, disputes could still occur, the possibility of traditional
industrial action would not not be the basis for all bargaining. Such action,
according to DI, belongs to the past. Accordingly, DI proposes that the
current automatic process, whereby notice of an impending dispute is issued
during the bargaining round, be reconsidered.
On 20 July 1999, the national council of the Confederation of British
Industry (CBI) adopted a policy statement  reaffirming that the CBI is "in
favour in principle of UK entry into European Economic and Monetary Union
once key conditions for success are in place". The CBI believes that UK
membership of EMU"has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the UK
economy", but that further progress is needed towards "sound fiscal
conditions in all major euro-zone countries", together with a shift in labour
market policies towards more flexibility. The new policy statement is the
culmination of a three-month consultation process involving voting on CBI
regional and national committees and a survey of wider membership opinion
carried out by polling organisation MORI.
In June 1999, a first agreement was signed between Italian (Fillea-Cgil,
Filca-Cisl, Feneal-Uil) and German (GHK) trade unions representing wood and
furniture workers. The agreement calls for the establishment of a European
collective bargaining committee aimed at defining common bargaining
On 14 July 1999, the European Commission adopted a Communication entitled A
concerted strategy for modernising social protection  (COM(99)347 final).
The Communication emphasises the key role played by social protection systems
in supporting public health and well-being and in redistributing wealth. It
is argued that, without social security transfers, nearly 40% of EU
households would be living in relative poverty (compared with the actual rate
of 17%). Spending on social protection accounts for an average of 28.5% of
In July 1999, the joint employer-trade union administrative board of France's
National Sickness Insurance Fund (CNAM) approved, by a large majority, a
strategic reform plan. This package of measures is designed to reduce
spending and improve the quality of healthcare. CNAM hopes that the
government will give legislative effect to the plan.
In June 1999, the Greek General Confederation of Labour (GSEE) expressed its
total opposition to proposals from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to
reduce the wages of new entrants to the labour market and to cut labour
In summer 1999, at the half-way point of the Spanish social partners'
four-year pact for employment stability, later endorsed by parliament, the
parties have evaluated its results. After two years, employment - and
especially stable employment - has increased significantly. However, there
has been no substantial decrease in the level of temporary employment and
contract turnover continues to increase.
/It seems inevitable that increasing economic integration and competition
within Europe will have some influence on national collective bargaining. The
aim of this comparative study is to provide an assessment, as of summer 1999,
of the extent to which the processes and outcomes of bargaining in the 15
Member States of the EU, plus Norway, are developing a cross-border, European
dimension. The study outlines the diverse processes, both implicit and
explicit, which can be said to be leading towards a "Europeanisation" of
collective bargaining. Developments across the 16 countries concerned are
examined at intersectoral, sectoral and enterprise levels, with a special
focus on metalworking and financial services, and the views of the social
partners are summarised./
The total number of requests to terminate employment contracts declined in
the Netherlands in 1998, according to the Annual Report on termination
statistics, issued in summer 1999. However, the number of requests related to
occupational disability has increased.
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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.
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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
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 report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2020 yearbook, provides a snapshot of what is happening in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2020. The scope is broad, from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and on people’s well-being to the inequalities in the working conditions of women and men. It also highlights the connections between Eurofound’s work and EU policy priorities in the coming years.
The third round of Eurofound's e-survey, fielded in February and March 2021, sheds light on the social and economic situation of people after nearly a full year of living with COVID-19 restrictions: How are people doing? What is their outlook on life? How has the availability of vaccinations changed their perceptions? This report presents an overview of the main findings and tracks the developments across the 27 EU Member States since the survey was first launched in April 2020.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
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 report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.