In September 1999, the Dutch petroleum company, NAM, announced a sweeping
reorganisation that could cut 450 jobs from its 2,500-strong workforce. The
trade unions expressed their intention to fight the plan vigorously. NAM,
which is based in the Netherlands' northern provinces, provides a significant
portion of employment in the region and also generates employment outside the
company. Provincial authorities responded to the plan with disappointment.
Before Portugal's general election on 10 October 1999, the main political
parties set out their policies on social, employment and labour issues.
Themes such as employment creation, training and equal opportunities were
highlighted in nearly all party programmes.
Given an increasing amount of contracting out of public services and the
privatisation of state-owned corporations, and after a freeze on the new
employment of public servants which has so far lasted two years, it seems
there is no future for trade unions in solely organising public servants and
other employees in the public sector. The large public sector trade unions
have drawn this lesson and have, so to speak, moved with their old members
into the private sector, representing more and more private sector workers.
This has caused discord within the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions
(Landsorganisationen i Danmark, LO) (DK9709129F ).
At its annual conference held in September 1999 (UK9909128N ), the Trades
Union Congress (TUC) gave strong backing to a motion  urging the
government to prepare for early UK entry into the single European currency,
despite misgivings on the part of some major unions. Delegates voted for a
motion which supported the UK having "the option of actively pursuing [euro]
entry early in the new decade through action to bring the UK economic cycle
more closely into line with that of our EU partners".
At the beginning of September 1999, Italy's Radicals political party
announced that it had collected enough signatures to hold 20 referenda in
spring 2000, with the aim of repealing various legislative provisions. Many
of the issues covered by the referenda concern trade union or labour issues,
like the collection of trade union membership dues, or individual dismissal
procedures. The trade union confederations are firmly opposed to the
Radicals' initiative, which they regard as "anti-union".
The European Commission decided at the end of July 1999 to launch or pursue
proceedings against a number of Member States in relation to poor
implementation of Community Directives in the social field. This relates
particularly to the pregnant workers' Directive (92/85/EEC) , the
Directive on minimum health and safety requirements applicable to the use of
equipment by workers (89/655/EEC) , the transfer of undertakings Directive
(77/187/EEC , amended by 98/59/EC ) and Directives on collective
redundancies (now consolidated in 98/59/EC ).
Comparative Study 
The comparative study was compiled on the basis of individual national
reports submitted by EIRO's national centres. The text of each of these
national reports is available below in Word format. The reports have not been
edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living
and Working Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a
questionnaire  and should be read in conjunction with it.
In July 1999, the Finnish social partners reached an agreement on some major
reforms to early retirement and pensions. These reforms, together with the
programme for older workers and the third stage of a scheme to fund adult
training out of unemployment insurance, aim to increase the average
retirement age step by step.
Negotiations between the Swedish Road Transport Employer's Association
(Biltrafikens Arbetsgivarförbund, BA), and the Swedish Transport Worker's
Union (Svenska Transportarbetareförbundet, Transport) over a new collective
agreement for taxi drivers and taxi telephone exchange operators finally
failed on 8 August 1999. On 17 August, Transport gave notice to the taxi-cab
companies of a blockade of all passenger traffic, including related work at
the taxi telephone exchanges, to and from the largest Swedish airports -
Arlanda and Bromma (Stockholm), Landvetter (Gothenburg) and Sturup (Malmö).
If the subsequent mediation process is not successful, the blockade was due
to start in the night of 2-3 September 1999. At the time of writing (late
August) nothing had been reported so far on the work of the two mediators.
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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.
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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
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.
This report will focus on assessing the employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, including its effects across sectors and for different categories of workers. It will also be looking at measures implemented to limit negative effects following the Coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
This policy brief uses the data from the European Company Survey 2019 to examine the workplace practices of export-oriented companies and to analyse how these practices relate to outcomes. It also examines why these companies choose the workplace practices they adopt.
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the overlaps between different parts of the public sector, especially with regard to social services. Firstly, the overlaps in terms of employment structures are analysed; secondly, the overlaps of all national sector-related organisations are assessed; and thirdly, the overlaps of the European social partner organisation are considered. The conclusions of this report should help decision-making regarding which ESSDC social services activities fit best in.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the civil aviation (flight crew) sector. Their relative representativeness legitimises their right to be consulted, their role and effective participation in the European sectoral social dialogue and their capacity to negotiate agreements.
While unemployment is still a challenge in Europe, some countries, sectors and occupations are experiencing labour shortages. This report explores various approaches to identifying labour shortages and maps national policy debates around the issue. It documents public and social partner interventions to tackle labour shortages, such as measures fostering geographic or occupational mobility, addressing skills shortages and underinvestment in skills, improving working and employment conditions, and better matching procedures.
The European Green Deal is at the very top of Member State agendas across the EU. This topical update maps the national discussions – in policy, public and research debates – on the potential, ongoing or already felt impact on work and employment of the transition to a low-carbon economy. It attempts to identify the most active actors involved in these discussions (governments, social partners, NGOs and so on) and their perspectives.
This report will draw from case studies of establishments across the EU that have introduced advanced digital technologies in the workplace. The technologies in focus are the Internet of Things, 3D printing and virtual and augmented reality. Each case study – illustrated in the report - will explore the approach or strategy taken by the establishment to manage the digital transition and the impact of the deployment of the technology on the work organisation and job quality.
While often considered staid, social partner organisations have developed different ways of using technology to communicate with their members, as well as to organise, mobilise and develop both internally, among staff, and externally, vis-à-vis members and the public. This topical update maps current practices in social partner organisations, describes developments in the use of technologies, and outlines the impact on social partner activities and organisation.