What we do
Eurofound’s priorities for 2021–2024 are shaped by the key challenges for social cohesion and just transitions in a changing environment in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The Agency focuses on issues where it can draw on its core expertise in the areas of working conditions, industrial relations, employment and living conditions, to support its stakeholders, by providing evidence that can assist their policy action.
The Programming document 2021–2024 has six strategic areas that will be implemented through the following operational activities. The first four are those as mandated in the Founding Regulation of the Agency.
- Working conditions and sustainable work: providing comparative data and analysis that can be used to improve job quality and promote sustainability of work over the life course.
- Industrial relations and social dialogue: functioning as a centre of expertise for monitoring and analysing developments in industrial relations and social dialogue, promoting dialogue between management and labour.
- Employment and labour markets: providing knowledge to identify changes in the labour market and inform employment policies to improve its functioning and inclusiveness.
- Living conditions and quality of life: mapping and analysing key elements for the improvement of living conditions of people, including information on their perception of quality of life and society.
In addition, Eurofound will address the policy challenges in two transversal thematic activities.
- Anticipating and managing the impact of change: providing evidence on structural changes, driven largely by digitalisation and climate change, but also by the COVID-19 crisis that can be of use in ensuring just transitions which promote employment, good working conditions, social protection and workers’ rights, while also improving labour productivity, competitiveness and prosperity.
- Promoting social cohesion and convergence: contributing to the policy debate on fairness and informing policies aimed at improving social cohesion and promoting convergence toward better living and working standards in the EU.
The enormity of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and work of Europeans is hard to capture, but Eurofound’s priority in 2020 was to record and assess the experience of this societal upheaval across the EU Member States in all its detail, variety and modulation. Living and working in Europe 2020 provides a snapshot of how the COVID-19 confinement measures changed employment, work and quality of life in Europe, as gathered by Eurofound’s research activities in 2020.
Eurofound’s three regularly repeated pan-European surveys collect original and fully comparable data covering all EU Member States and a range of other countries, depending on the survey. Data collected through the surveys allow for in-depth analysis of a wide variety of issues. The surveys are considered one of the most valuable and unique sources of information at Eurofound’s disposal. They inform and guide a substantial part of Eurofound’s research work.
- European Company Survey (ECS) – The fourth ECS was carried out in 2019
- European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) – The fourth EQLS was conducted in 2016
- European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) – The sixth EWCS was carried out in 2015
In response to COVID-19, Eurofound has adjusted its research to monitor the evolving situation during the pandemic and to collect data regarding the impact on the lives of EU citizens and policy responses to mitigate the effects. In April 2020, the Agency kick-started a unique and large-scale e-survey, Living, working and COVID-19, to capture the far-reaching implications of the pandemic for the way people live and work across the EU, with the aim of helping policymakers to bring about an equal recovery from the crisis.
Eurofound’s three observatories also contribute to the work in the topic areas, supported by a Network of European Correspondents covering the EU Member States and Norway. Through the network, systematic and comparable information on national-level realities and developments can be collected.
- European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC)
- European Observatory of Working Life (EurWORK)
- European Observatory on Quality of Life (EurLIFE)
Reacting to ad-hoc information requests
Reacting to ad-hoc information requests from Eurofound’s core stakeholders is a key activity in the new programming period. Key objectives of this service are to ensure rapidity, flexibility and quality in delivering customised input to meet new and emerging information needs.