Communiqué May 2006
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Previous issues of Communiqué
Embarking on the new work programme
The publication of the Foundation’s Annual Report 2005 marks the end of the first year of the Foundation’s 2005–8 four-year work programme. The highlight of the year was the appointment of the Foundation’s new Director, Jorma Karppinen, who took up office in December.
In 2005, the Foundation arranged six national visits under the European Quality of Life roadshow programme, aimed at reaching out to its stakeholders across the EU. Findings from the European Quality of Life survey were presented to government and social partner representatives in Austria, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden; bilateral discussions were also held with these stakeholders on other current topics in which the Foundation is involved. Through targeted press activities during these visits, up to 7.5 million people were reached through newspapers, TV and radio, bringing the total reached since the roadshows began in 2004 to over 14.3 million people.
Flagship publications of 2005 included the online European Industrial Relations Dictionary, comprising 300 cross-referenced terms concerning employment and industrial relations policy, and the EurLIFE online database, which provides easy access to indicators on living conditions in Europe. Indeed, as many as 178 reports were published by the Foundation in 2005, representing an increase of 10% over 2004’s output. When translated publications are included, the total rises to 332.
Meanwhile, the Foundation’s websites (Eurofound, EIRO and EMCC), saw a 25% increase in user sessions in 2005 over 2004. One reason for the increase was the redesign of the Eurofound website, which introduced a topic-based information architecture.
Monitoring and understanding change
Some 40% of recorded cases of business restructuring were of expansion, resulting in new jobs. However, more than 520,000 job losses as a result of restructuring activities were announced, compared to the creation of 370,000 new jobs. These are among the findings of the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM), which was extended to monitor all 25 Member States and the acceding countries Romania and Bulgaria.
As many as 31 countries, including all EU25 Member States, participated in late 2005 in fieldwork for the fourth European Working Conditions Survey. Almost 30,000 European workers were interviewed and the scope of the survey was expanded to include place of work, the extent to which work is conducted outside of working hours and the satisfaction derived from work. Preliminary results are expected shortly.
Also in 2005, the Foundation put in place a new methodology for information reporting and analysis in the fields of quality of work and employment, industrial relations and restructuring. A new network of researchers, covering 30 countries in Europe, will feed information and news to the Foundation’s three monitoring observatories.
Exploring what works
As part of its four-year programme framework Changing Europe: Better work, better life, the Foundation explored what works under the four priority themes of: creating more and better employment, balancing work and life, supporting participation and partnership, and building social cohesion. It explored new topics within these broad themes and built on previously gathered knowledge, looking at such issues as: the innovative management of restructuring, new business creation and entrepreneurship after restructuring, an attractive workplace for all, employment initiatives for an ageing workforce, labour supply and job creation in care services, working time options over the life course, new forms of governance in industrial relations, capacity-building for social dialogue in the new EU Member States, labour market mobility and access to social rights for migrants, and the promotion of quality of life in rural Europe.