Access to and quality of public services in the EU: A debate on improving quality of life
An event organised jointly with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), in cooperation with the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, 8 March 2018, Brussels, Belgium
Presentation by Tadas Leončikas, Senior Research Manager, Eurofound
Discussions on Germany at European level invariably focus on the country’s strong economic performance and how this relates to the labour market and broader society. This is a narrative I have myself contributed to in a previous blog piece. However, Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) 2016 shows us that, when it comes to Germany - and a number of other developed western European countries - perceptions of quality of society are increasingly divorced from economic performance. Indeed while many indicators continue, as one might expect, to reflect the country’s positions as an economic powerhouse, there are serious signs of growing concerns in other indicators such as perceived tensions between racial and ethnic groups and also between religious groups.
The government has passed a labour law aimed at strengthening workers’ rights, while staying within the framework of individual and collective labour relations set for the country when it entered the Financial Stability Mechanism. The law has had a mixed reception, though it has led to a revival of social dialogue.
The Danish government, the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions and the Confederation of Danish Employers have concluded a tripartite agreement on adult and continuing training. This follows two other important tripartite agreements, one on the better integration of refugees in the labour market and the other on improving incentives for participation in vocational training.
The purpose of this short report is to provide a synthesis of Eurofound data and analysis regarding the situation of young people in Greece for the Greek government. The recent economic crisis has exacerbated the problem of youth integration in the labour market in the EU and Greece has been disproportionately affected.
The latest European Semester cycle, covering the period 2016–2017, has highlighted a range of issues regarding the quality of involvement by the social partners in the elaboration of the 2017 National Reform Programme (NRP), as well as in the implementation of the country-specific recommendations (CSRs). This report looks at the different social dialogue practices across Member States and at the role played by the national authorities in enabling the involvement of employer organisations and trade unions in policy reforms.
Measures to promote gender pay transparency haven’t been delivered yet in half of Europe – making EU level legislative action to speed up implementation an option. In this blog, originally posted in Social Europe, Christine Aumayr-Pintar details what we know about the measures from countries that have been early adopters.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), carried out by Eurofound every four years, explores a variety of aspects related to living standards, health, family and work–life balance, as well as people's happiness levels, satisfaction with their lives, and their perceptions regarding the quality of their society.
In December 2017, social partners renewed the collective agreement for the Italian logistics sector, which had expired two years earlier. The agreement, after a period of unrest, addresses continuing developments in the sector, which are significantly reshaping sectoral business and employment features. However, enforcement needs on-the-ground monitoring activities, to be implemented by unions and inspectors.
The increasing fragmentation of sectoral agreements in Italy is highlighted in a report, released in November 2017, by the tripartite National Economic and Labour Council. It adds that decentralised bargaining increasingly deals with performance-related pay and welfare benefits. Although this overall picture cannot be viewed as representative, it does shed light on recent trends.
Eurofound's representativeness 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 developments in minimum wage rates across the EU, including how they are set and how they have developed over time in nominal and real terms. The series explores where there are statutory minimum wages or collectively agreed minimum wages in the Member States, as well as minimum wage coverage rates by gender.
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 three rounds – in April and July 2020 and in March 2021. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2015. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
This report examines a number of collective labour disputes involving industrial action in EU Member States, Norway and the UK. It provides a comprehensive study of each labour dispute, including information on industrial action events and the context for each dispute, as well as the relevant topics, actors, attempts at resolution and outcomes. Different types of collective labour disputes and their occurrence in various countries and sectors are presented, indicating how they are linked to different industrial relations regimes.
Social dialogue lies at the heart of the EU treaties and governance. Social partners are core stakeholders who can assess policy needs and contribute to policy formation and to designing and implementing national reforms in the social and employment fields. This report focuses on the timely and meaningful involvement of national social partners in the preparation of the new resilience and recovery plans and the national reform programmes (NRPs) that were temporarily integrated under the European Semester in 2021.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2021 yearbook, provides a snapshot of the latest developments in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2021. The range of topics as a result is broad, from the growing diversity of employment across EU regions to developments in minimum wages, and of course the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report provides an overview of the scale of teleworking before and during the COVID-19 crisis and gives an indication of ‘teleworkability’ across sectors and occupations. Building on previous Eurofound research on remote work, the report investigates the way businesses introduced and supported teleworking during the pandemic, as well as the experience of workers who were working from home during the crisis. The report also looks at developments in regulations related to telework in Member States and provides a review of stakeholders’ positions.
This study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the gas 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. The aim of this Eurofound’s study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the gas sector in the EU Member States.
This report focuses on trends and developments in collective bargaining that were evident from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines potential new strategic approaches and priorities incorporated in negotiation agendas, as well as collective bargaining practices and coordination at sector and company levels in the private sector.
This report investigates the practical implementation of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive at company level. It explores the challenges faced by existing EWCs and provides examples of identified solutions and remaining issues from the point of view of both workers and management. The report looks at the way that EWCs meet the requirements of the EWC Directive in terms of establishing processes of information and consultation.
This report explores the association between skills use and skills strategies and establishment performance, and how other workplace practices, in terms of work organisation, human resources management and employee involvement, can impact on this. It looks at how skills shortages can be addressed, at least in part, by creating an environment in which employees are facilitated and motivated to make better use of the skills they already have. This further supports the business case for a more holistic approach to management.
Hospital and civil aviation workers have been severely impacted by COVID-19. While hospitals are on the frontline when it comes to fighting this global pandemic, civil aviation is experiencing the most challenging crisis ever encountered in the sector. This study explores how social dialogue and collective bargaining are playing a role in the way both sectors are adapting to the pandemic. What kind of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
The COVID-19 crisis has increased inequality between social groups in health, housing, employment, income and well-being. While a small part of society was able to hold on to or increase its wealth, other groups such as women, young people, older people, people with disabilities, low- and middle-income earners and those with young children were acutely affected by the pandemic. Drawing on current research on how to best measure multidimensional inequality, this report highlights recent trends in inequality in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.