After more than 40 years, the 'joint bargaining association'
(Tarifgemeinschaft) for the public sector, which united public employers at
federal (national), state (Land) and municipal level, has collapsed. The
split became public on 20 May 2003 when German newspapers reported that the
federal minister of the interior, Otto Schily, representing the federal
government, and the Bavarian minister of finance, Kurt Faltlhauser,
representing the Employers' Association of German Länder 
(Tarifgemeinschaft deutscher Länder, TdL) had sent a letter to the Municipal
Employers’ Association (Vereinigung kommunaler Arbeitgeberverbände, VKA).
In this letter, they announced the termination of the joint bargaining
association for public services because the municipal employers had recently
signed a separate collective agreement with the Unified Service Sector Union
(Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, ver.di) concerning occupational
This information sheet provides a brief overview of the Foundation's research report (EF02109) concerning the extent, focus and implications of violence and harassment in the workplace in the EU. It presents evidence of the adverse effects on individuals, organisations and society, and assesses the potential financial costs. It reviews the upsurge in regulatory activity and legislation with respect to preventing and managing violence and harassment at work. A report summary on this topic is also available (EF02112). Information sheets set out a brief overview of each project, forming a useful introduction point. They answer key questions as to: What is the project about? Why is the research being carried out? What are the findings/objectives and whom do they concern? When will the project be completed? How might the findings be translated into action?
This new report covers the main industrial relations developments during 2002 throughout the European Union, Norway and three of the candidate countries, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. It focuses on key issues covered by collective bargaining such as pay, working time, job security and equal opportunities. It also examines areas such as legislative developments, industrial action and vocational training and provides a comprehensive review of the European-level social dialogue between trade union and employer organisations. A final thematic chapter tackling the issue of migration in the context of industrial relations developments provides a very real context for this important joint initiative between the Foundation and the European Commission.
The challenges arising from low employment rates, an ageing population, changing family structures and social exclusion have pushed ‘quality of life’ issues to the front of the EU social policy agenda. The Foundation has launched an initiative to improve the monitoring and reporting of living conditions and quality of life in Europe.
Annexes to the Annual Report 2002, containing information on: the Foundation work programme; Administrative Board and other committees; staff; meetings and conferences; publications and budget. See Annual report 2002.
An agreement was reached on 14 May 2003 between the minority centre-right
coalition government - comprising the Conservative Party (Høyre), the
Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig Folkeparti, KRF) and the Liberal Party
(Venstre) - and the Norwegian Labour Party (Det norske Arbeiderparti, DnA)
and the Socialist Left Party (Sosialistisk Venstreparti, SV) on the
relocation of eight regulatory agencies from the capital Oslo to other cities
in Norway. The agencies concerned have supervisory and regulatory
responsibilities in a number of areas, including health and safety at work,
competition in business and industry, and the regulation of aviation and
maritime activity. The transfers form part of a proposed larger-scale
reorganisation of the regulatory agency system, and should also be seen in
the light of the government’s plan to modernise the public sector. The
transfer means that approximately 900 jobs will be lost in the Oslo area, and
it has thus been met by significant opposition from the trade unions
concerned, as well as from politicians in the municipality of Oslo.
In April 2003, a Greek Presidential Decree (PD) was issued regarding
fixed-term contracts, aimed at transposing the 1999 EU Directive on the
issue. However, on some points the content of the PD is seen by the social
partners as inconsistent with the letter and the spirit of the Directive.
This feature sets out the content of the Decree, together with an analysis of
those points that the social partners do not feel fully serve the aims of the
After lengthy negotiations, the first sectoral agreement for the Italian
railway industry was signed in April 2003. The most important aspect of this
deal is the extension to the railway sector of the two-tier collective
bargaining structure (sectoral and decentralised), which was introduced in
most Italian industries by a July 1993 national tripartite agreement. Among
other innovations, the railway sector agreement includes a new personnel
classification system and provides for flexible forms of employment. It
represents a notable renewal of sectoral industrial relations, carried out in
the framework of the current liberalisation of the railway sector based on EU
In May 2003, after four months of intense negotiations, a draft deal on the
renewal of the Italian metalworking sector collective agreement for the
period 2003-6 was signed by the Federmeccanica employers' organisation and
the Fim-Cisl and Uilm-Uil trade unions. However, the Fiom-Cgil union did not
sign the agreement and harshly criticised its provisions. As well as pay
increases, the new agreement envisages the creation of a new job
classification system, the establishment of a sectoral joint body and some
measures on continuing training.
A recent study  carried out by the Union of Commercial and Clerical
Employees in Denmark (Handels- og Kontorfunktionærernes Forbund, HK) and
published in February 2003 examines the ownership of its members’
workplaces, and finds that 75% of members work for a multinational
enterprise. Furthermore, nearly half of the DK members covered by the study
(46.1%) work for a multinational enterprise which is mainly foreign-owned.
The extent of this 'internationalisation' has come as something of a surprise
for Danish trade unions, which until now had not seen concrete statistics
showing that globalisation is affecting so many of their members. HK is
Denmark's largest union.
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.