EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

Representativeness studies

European sectoral social partner organisations and their representativeness

Representativeness is a criterion used by the 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), and who may initiate social dialogue leading to Council decision's under article 155 of the same treaty. In 2006 the European Commission mandated Eurofound to carry out studies on the representativeness of European sectoral social partner organisations.

These 'representativness studies' are designed to provide basic information needed for the setting up and functioning of sectoral social dialogue committees at European level. The sectoral social dialogue committees are the mechanism used by the Commission to consult management and labour under article 154 TFEU.

Sectors covered so far

Eurofound has studied the representativeness of social partner organisations in the following sectors:

Sectors in progress: Professional football; Cross-sectoral; Furniture; Woodworking; Extractive industries; Construction; Chemicals (2024)

Earlier representativeness studies were coordinated by the Catholic University of Louvain, and are available on their website.


The data are gathered by the Network of Eurofound Correspondents under the direction of Eurofound research managers and the social partners are consulted throughout the process. For more details see the methodology page.


The results of the study are the identification of the European sectoral associations which are representative and therefore can be included in the European sectoral social dialogue.