About Eurofound’s random probability surveys

Since its foundation, Eurofound has built a strong knowledge base around living and working conditions in the European Union. A key task of the Agency involves monitoring developments in the Member States over time, for which it has developed three recurrent probability-based EU-wide surveys that provide high-quality data: the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) and the European Company Survey (ECS). The three surveys share the following features:

  • Representative samples
  • Coverage of all EU Member States as well as (potential) candidate countries and often Norway and Switzerland
  • Cross-country comparability
  • Multiple waves, enabling time-series analysis
  • Developed in close cooperation with Eurofound’s tripartite stakeholders and experts in the field
  • Questionnaires covering a wide range of topics designed to meet European policy needs
  • Questionnaires built on an inter-disciplinary scientific basis
  • Elaborate strategy for quality assurance
  • Timely availability of results, in policy-relevant reports, online data visualisation and microdata.

Data availability

All survey questionnaires and datasets are freely available to the public.


The aim of Eurofound's survey work is to provide high-quality information on living conditions, working conditions and workplace practices in Europe. To realise this goal, each of the surveys targets a different population to get specific information. Harmonising survey methodology where possible means that lessons learned can be shared between surveys. More information on methodology can be found on the pages related to each survey edition.

Future-proofing the surveys

Over the coming years, Eurofound will roll out a strategy aimed at making the surveys future-proof, which includes an examination of the viability of different and more cost-effective data-collection modes, considering both overall survey quality and comparability over time.

Eurofound is also looking into the potential of big data to complement and contextualise its own data. This work will focus on improving survey sampling, collecting and analysing big data and using text analysis of social media content to investigate marginal phenomena.

Quality assurance

Eurofound is committed to quality assurance in its surveys, aiming to ensure high-quality survey data by complying with commonly agreed standards for the methodology and procedures.

European and international collaboration

Eurofound’s survey methodology and questionnaires can be used by other organisations once copyright conditions are met. Various organisations have therefore expressed an interest in using these materials or collaborating with Eurofound .