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
An informal Labour and Social Affairs Council of Ministers meeting was held
under the Finnish Presidency in Oulu, Finland from 8 to 10 July 1999, with
the participation of the European-level social partners and the European
Parliament. In line with the priorities of Finnish labour market policy in
recent years (FI9708125F ), the Finnish government - which took over the
EU Presidency in July 1999 - was keen to shift the focus of labour market
policy away from youth unemployment towards the problems facing older
workers. Ministers expressed concern at the lack of older workers in the
On 2 July 1999, the provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 
were brought into force, one year after receiving Royal Assent (UK9807137N
). The Act has been described as the most far-reaching "whistleblowing"
legislation in the world. It provides remedies to workers who are dismissed
or subjected to detriment by their employer for making certain categories of
disclosure, ie a disclosure of information which, in the reasonable belief of
the worker making the disclosure, concerns:
In June 1999, an agreement was signed on the reorganisation of Rome's public
environmental services company, Ama, leading to differences between the three
main trade union confederations. Cisl and Uil disagree with Cgil on the way
in which 2,200 people will be recruited by the newly-established company, Ama
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) held its ninth Statutory
Congress in Helsinki from 29 June to 2 July 1999 (EU9907182F ). The event
coincided with the beginning of Finland's six-month term in the EU Presidency
and on 1 July a delegation presented a memorandum to the Finnish Prime
Minister and EU President in Office, Paavo Lipponen. The delegation consisted
of the ETUC president, Fritz Verzetnitsch, and general secretary, Emilio
Gabaglio, plus Lauri Ihalainen, chair of the Central Organisation of Finnish
Trade Unions (Suomen Ammattiliittojen Keskusjärjestö, SAK), Esa Swanljung,
chair of the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees
(Toimihenkilökeskusjärjestö, STTK) and Risto Piekka, chair of the
Confederation of Unions for Academic Professionals (Akateemisten
Toimihenkilöiden Keskusjärjestö, AKAVA). The memorandum sets out ETUC's
demands, proposals and recommendations for the EU Presidency.
Negotiations have been going on for several months between the Belgian
Bankers' Association (BVB/ABB) and the various trade unions involved -
ACV/CSC, ABVV/FGTB and ACLVB/CGSLB- on a new national collective agreement
for the banking sector. However, the talks became completely deadlocked in
June 1999. The trade unions had already called several short stoppages and
lightning strikes, but discontent about the failure to secure an agreement
continued to mount and a one-day national strike was organised by the unions
for 9 July.
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 ninth European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Congress held in Helsinki
from 29 June to 2 July 1999 (EU9907182F ) arguably indicated the European
trade union movement's wish for far-reaching harmonisation in the area of
social and employment policy. In the eyes of Danish public debate, the
Congress presented an emerging picture of a trade union movement which wants
to head a process towards, if not the "United Nations of Europe", then at
least a strengthening of the federal features of the European Union. Even
though the Danish public's attitude towards the EU has grown more positive
(DK9906127F ), there is general scepticism about an extensive process of
integration. This became evident at the European Parliament elections in June
1999, at which the Danish parties and movements which are directly opposed
to, or strongly sceptical towards, the EU maintained their support.
The Spanish government's 1999 National Action Plan (NAP) for employment, in
response to the EU Employment Guidelines, has been severely attacked by the
trade unions. The unions criticise the content of the NAP, approved in May
1999, and the funds assigned to it, and claim that it appeared late and
lacked social dialogue in its preparation.
In 1998's rather favourable economic climate, collective bargaining in France
was dominated by the reduction of working time, according to the Ministry for
Employment and Solidarity's annual bargaining report, published in June 1999.
Other trends recorded included: intersectoral bargaining falling off to an
extremely low point; a recovery in the amount of sector-level bargaining at
the end of the year; and considerable growth in company-level bargaining.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Based on data from the European Company Survey 2019, this policy brief examines the characteristics of innovative companies and explores the types of workplace practices that are significantly associated with establishments' likelihood of introducing innovation. It also investigates differences between workplace practices of innovative and non-innovative companies. Additionally, data gathered through case studies analyse the role of workplace practices in different phases of the innovation process.
This report investigates the convergence of Member States in various dimensions of living conditions. Indicators are drawn from the European Quality of Life Surveys and other surveys. The analysis pays special attention to particular subgroups such as young people and women. The analysis also investigates the key drivers of convergence in living conditions.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, a high demand for labour and low unemployment levels made labour shortages one of the key policy concerns in the EU. Even where there is persistent and rising unemployment, individual countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages, which in some instances have been accentuated by COVID-19. This report explores various approaches to measuring labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue.
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.
The issue of regional convergence and whether disadvantaged regions are catching up with wealthier regions continues to attract enormous attention in the policy debate. This report presents the findings of an investigation into the evolution of social imbalances across EU regions over time, based on indicators including unemployment, social exclusion and poverty. It also examines various aspects of the relationship between growth, regional disparities and interpersonal inequalities.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.