Stakeholders and partners
Eurofound’s mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies. While Eurofound is directed primarily at the EU level in its role and work, it is linked with the Member States in a number of ways.
Eurofound's Management Board members are appointed on nomination from governments and social partner organisations within the Member States, with three members representing the European Commission and one independent expert who is appointed by the European Parliament. The Management Board is assisted by an Executive Board of eight members, composed of the Chairperson and three Deputy Chairs of the Management Board, the coordinators of the three groups (governments, employers and employees) and one representative of the European Commission.
EU institutions, governments and social partners are the highest priority target groups for Eurofound’s products and services. An important strand of Eurofound’s communication strategy focuses on providing these stakeholders with evidence and services that assist them in the fulfilment of their roles. Such cooperation may take the form of customised reports based on existing Eurofound data.
EU institutions and bodies
Eurofound’s relationship with the institutions is a dynamic one, forged through formal (institutional) and informal links. Eurofound is an autonomous agency of the EU and as such belongs within the constellation of EU bodies. It is also a member of the EU Agencies Network.
The Agency has signed Collaboration agreements/Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with six of these sister Agencies:
- the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), Memorandum of Understanding (updated version of 2020, originally signed in 2006)
- the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), Memorandum of Understanding (2007)
- the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), Memorandum of Understanding (2010)
- the European Labour Authority (ELA), Memorandum of Understanding (2022)
- the European Training Foundation (ETF), Collaboration Agreement (2007)
- the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), Collaboration Agreement (2009).
These agreements are implemented through annual action plans and are the basis for exchange of data sources and for joint initiatives in the areas of research, events and operations systems. Coordination with other EU Agencies must ensure an early exchange on respective programming documents in order to provide feedback, avoid overlaps, identify synergies and potential areas of cooperation.
The European Commission is involved in the governance of Eurofound through its membership on Eurofound’s Management Board, where it has an important role in adopting the work programmes. An independent expert is appointed to the Board by the European Parliament in a non-voting capacity.
Eurofound regularly collaborates with the European Commission Joint Research Centre.
Eurofound works with the Council of the EU mainly through the programmes of its Presidencies, providing expertise, speakers or other support for presidency events. Joint events are also organised with the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee.
Eurofound maintains an office in Brussels to enable it to keep in close contact with the EU institutions. For further information, please contact the Brussels Liaison Office.
Each Member State has a government representative on the Management Board, usually an official from the ministry with the employment or social affairs portfolio.
As the Management Board adopts Eurofound’s work programmes and proposes its budget, the Member State governments have significant influence on the functioning of Eurofound. The Member States' governments together (in their role as EU Council) created Eurofound and continue to finance it through the general EU budget.
Eurofound has the mandate to provide the Commission, other Union institutions, bodies and agencies, the Member States and social partners with support for the purpose of shaping and implementing policies concerning the improvement of living and working conditions, devising employment policies, and promoting the dialogue between management and labour. To that end, Eurofound shall enhance and disseminate knowledge, provide evidence and services for the purpose of policy making, including research-based conclusions, and shall facilitate knowledge sharing among and between Union and national actors.
Each side of the social partnership within each Member State has a representative on the Management Board, ensuring a reflection of the diversity of the industrial relations systems and culture within the EU. Representatives of the European organisations for the social partners coordinate the work of the Groups and participate in Management Board meetings.
Eurofound cooperates with international organisations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This cooperation can take the form of contributions to reports or organisation of joint events.
Eurofound and ILO have signed a Framework agreement for cooperation in September 2022. The Framework for cooperation seeks to renew and strengthen collaboration between the ILO and Eurofound in areas of mutual interest. It updates, replaces and supersedes the agreement signed in July 2018.
Eurofound also engages with civil society in its different manifestations (such as tripartite bodies, civil society represented in non-governmental organisations, and academia). The academic and research community is an important user of Eurofound's knowledge. Furthermore, researchers and other academics are frequently selected (through open tender procedure) to carry out field research for Eurofound.