Communiqué May 2005

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Director’s diary

Workers in the 10 new EU Member States work on average 112 hours - or almost three working weeks - more per year than workers in the EU15. This is according to the Foundation’s European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) in its annual update on working time developments. While collective bargaining still plays a key role in determining the duration of working time in most of the countries in Europe, less than half of all workers in the new Member States are covered by these agreements. While around three-quarters of the EU15 workforce are still covered, the trend across all EU Member States is that of increased decentralisation of collective bargaining. This is a challenge to social dialogue, if current employee protection and participation levels are to be maintained.

June will see the launch of the newly redesigned Foundation website Eurofound. Providing easy access to Foundation research for an average of 160,000 users every month, the new site will also offer one unique gateway to the individual websites of EIRO and the European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC). At the same time the Foundation will launch a unique new interactive database of European quality of life indicators. EurLIFE has been built on comparable EU-wide data sources and the Foundation’s own monitoring tools on quality of life and working conditions.

Willy Buschak
Acting Director

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