Celebrating 40 years of contributing to Social Europe
This year marks 40 years for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound). In a joint event with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion on 26 May – the exact day when the Council regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75 established the Agency 40 years ago - Eurofound will celebrate four decades of active contribution to improving the quality of life and working conditions of all Europeans.
At the first European Summit of the European Heads of State or Government of the nine Member States of the enlarged European Community in Paris on 19–21 October 1972, it was agreed that ‘that appropriate Community action should be built up on an inter-disciplinary scientific basis and at the same time that employers and workers should be associated in the action undertaken’, to tackle ‘the problems presented by the improvement of living and working conditions in modern society’.
In response to this challenge, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions was created by Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 of the Council of 26 May 1975, to ‘contribute to the planning and establishment of better living and working conditions through action designed to increase and disseminate knowledge likely to assist this development. With this aim in view, the tasks of the Foundation shall be to develop and to pursue ideas on the medium and long term improvement of living and working conditions in the light of practical experience and to identify factors leading to change.’
‘It is testament to the vision of the European forefathers that in those early years they already saw the need to establish a European Agency with the unique mandate of providing knowledge on social and work-related issues,’ says Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound’s Director. ‘The goal then was to help policymakers shape a better future for its citizens. Forty years on and now charting 28 countries and 520 million people, the Agency’s role has never been more relevant – continuing to strive to deliver timely, topical and accessible information and analysis to help policymakers shape a better future for us all.’
‘Eurofound provides invaluable input into the policymaking of the EU to achieve these ambitious goals, and I look forward to working with the Agency as we forge a stronger, dynamic and more equal Union,’ comments Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.
To mark the 40-year anniversary, Michel Servoz, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), and Juan Menéndez-Valdés will today open a specially designed 40-year anniversary exhibition in Brussels, Belgium.