2 March 2023
Trade unions, employer organisations and public authorities all play a role in the governance of the employment relationship. They are interlocking parts in a system that operates at European, national, sectoral, regional and company level.Read more
Trade unions, employer organisations and public authorities all play a role in the governance of the employment relationship. They are interlocking parts in a system that operates at European, national, sectoral, regional and company level. In recent years, as technology and forms of work evolve within a constantly changing economic environment, industrial relations systems have faced critical challenges.
Minimum wage hikes struggle to offset inflation
New data: 2023 minimum wage hikes struggle to improve purchasing power
In this context, the European Commission in 2015 launched a ‘new start’ for European social dialogueRead more
In this context, the European Commission in 2015 launched a ‘new start’ for European social dialogue. In a joint statement in June 2016, the Commission, Council of the European Union and social partners underlined its fundamental role as a significant component of EU employment and social policymaking.
- European Commission: Joint statement on a new start for social dialogue
Over 40 years, Eurofound has developed as a key centre of expertise for monitoring and analysing trends in industrial relations. This includes linkages between European and national-level social dialogue.Read more
Over 40 years, Eurofound has developed as a key centre of expertise for monitoring and analysing trends in industrial relations. This includes linkages between European and national-level social dialogue. Drawing on the knowledge of its Network of Eurofound Correspondents in 28 EU Member States and Norway, it has captured developments in all Member States and in the EU as a whole.
Eurofound has produced a range of comparative analyses, articles and case studies across the EU28 and Norway in the area of industrial relations, as well as regularly updated databases on related topics.
A recent study maps and discusses key dimensions and indicators relevant to industrial relations systems in Europe in the 21st century. Another thread of research looks at how social partners in the EU and Norway have explored new topics, tools and innovative approaches to respond to the many new political, legal and social challenges that have arisen in recent years.
Pay and working time continue to be areas of high interest and are reviewed annually. One strand of the recent pay update focuses on statutory minimum wage levels across the EU while another focuses on collective wage bargaining.
Since 2006, Eurofound has been carrying out studies on the representativeness of European sectoral social partner organisations, as mandated by the European Commission. These studies are designed to provide the basic information needed for the setting up and functioning of the European sectoral social dialogue committees.
- EurWORK: European Industrial Relations Dictionary
- EurWORK: Working life country profiles
- EurWORK: Representativeness studies
Key outputs over the years
Publications & dataTop
The sections below provide access to a range of publications, data and ongoing work on this topic.
- Publications (2299)
- Ongoing work (9)
Eurofound publications come in a variety of formats, including reports, policy briefs, blogs, articles and presentations.
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Local and regional government sector and social servicesPublication 17 December 2020
Industrial relations: Developments 2015–2019Publication 11 December 2020
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Human health sectorPublication 12 November 2020
New impetus to collective bargaining: Insights from the ECSBlog 28 October 2020
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Education sectorPublication 15 October 2020
Capacity building for effective social dialogue in the European UnionPublication 10 September 2020
Role of social partners in tackling discrimination at workPublication 31 August 2020
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Sea fisheries sectorPublication 10 August 2020
Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Paper sectorPublication 4 August 2020
EU level: Latest developments in working life Q2 2020Article 20 July 2020
A selection of related data on this topic are linked below.
- Data: Industrial relations index: Measures country performance in four dimensions – industrial democracy, industrial competitiveness, social justice, and quality of work and employment – and in industrial relations systems as a whole.
- Data: Database on wages, working time and collective disputes
Research continues in this topic on a variety of themes, which are outlined below with links to forthcoming titles.
Other ongoing work
- Social dialogue in companies, particularly linkages that can be drawn between national and EU level, to better understand of cooperation mechanisms used in decision-making and implementation in multinational companies
- Exploration of the role of national social partners in the European semester and analysis of quality and effectiveness of their involvement
- Summary of discussions on capacity-building social dialogue to support a meaningful and effective social dialogue
- A flagship report on industrial relations covering topics related to both social dialogue and working life developments, including updates on collectively agreed pay
- Representativeness studies on a variety of sectors to provide the European Commission required information to assess the representativeness of European sectoral social partner organisations
- Highlights of recent developments of selected features of working life in so called topical updates, with one featuring statutory minimum wages
- Updated time series in EurWORK database of wages, working time and collective disputes
- Updated time series and update on developments in collectively agreed pay
- Exploring the feasibility for an Industrial Action Monitor