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  • Article
    6 August 2003

    In July 2003, four socialist and liberal political parties reached agreement
    on the formation of a new Belgian federal government. The coalition agreement
    includes a number of important employment and social plans, such as creating
    200,000 jobs over four years and cutting employers' social security
    contributions. The social partners have reacted in differing ways to the new
    government's programme.

  • Article
    5 August 2003

    On 17 June 2003, a new trade union, Fagforbundet, was created as the result
    of a merger between the Norwegian Union of Municipal Employees (Norsk
    Kommuneforbund, NKF) and the smaller Association of Health and Social Care
    Personnel (Norsk Helse- og Sosialforbund, NHS) (NO0211106F [1]). The new
    union, with approximately 300,000 members, is Norway's largest. It mainly
    organises employees in the municipal sector, a large majority of whom are
    women. Fagforbundet [2] is affiliated to the Norwegian Confederation of Trade
    Unions (Landsorganisasjonen i Norge, LO). NKF and NHS started talks on a
    possible merger as early as 1998, and the matter was subsequently subject to
    considerable debate and a comprehensive process of deliberation (NO9809185F
    [3] and NO0211106F [4]).


  • Article
    5 August 2003

    In July 2003, the Portuguese government presented the second National Plan
    for Equality. The plan aims to promote equality between women and men in a
    wide range of areas, addressing matters such as education, employment,
    balancing work and family life, preventing violence against women, and social

  • Article
    5 August 2003

    On 1 July 2003, the Italian government took over the Presidency of the EU
    Council for a six-month term (EU0307205F [1]). The European Trade Union
    Confederation (ETUC) has issued a memorandum [2] to the Italian Presidency in
    which it details a list of social issues that it wishes to see addressed
    during the second half of 2003.


  • 5 August 2003

    Set against the backdrop of preparations for enlargement of the European Union, this report provides a comparative overview of the most significant industrial relations developments during 2003, both at national and EU level. The fruit of a joint collaboration between the Foundation and the European Commission, the report presents the year’s main activities in European social dialogue and employment legislation and policy. It examines the key issues covered by collective bargaining and looks at the regulation of working time.

  • Article
    5 August 2003

    Meeting informally on 11–12 July 2003 in Varese, Italy under the incoming
    Italian Presidency of the Council, EU social policy and employment ministers
    discussed the issue of undeclared work in the EU. This topic, also known as
    the 'grey economy', is one of the Italian Presidency’s priorities
    (EU0307205F [1]), and is believed to account for between 7% and 19% of the
    volume of total declared employment in EU Member States. It was noted that,
    in order to try to reduce undeclared work, a specific employment guideline on
    this topic has been included in the latest employment guidelines [2] to
    Member States under the European employment strategy [3]. Actions deemed to
    be effective in combatting undeclared work include the removal of
    disincentives to declare work, the elimination of poverty traps and renewed
    efforts to make work pay. Alongside this, the Italian Presidency’s strategy
    to combat undeclared work includes penalties for not declaring work,
    incentives to declare work and legislation to avoid the poverty trap.


  • Article
    5 August 2003

    On 8 July 2003, the Fraser Institute, a Canadian free market think-tank,
    released its latest annual report on Economic freedom of the world [1], drawn
    up in conjunction with members of the Economic Freedom Network [2] (a group
    of similar institutes around the world). The report, published since 1996,
    uses the most recent internationally comparable data available - referring to
    2001 in this case - to provide a ranking of 123 nations according to their
    degree of 'economic freedom', defined as 'personal choice, voluntary
    exchange, freedom to compete, and protection of the person and property'.
    According to the 2003 study, Germany stood in 20th place in the economic
    freedom rankings, down from 13th place in the 2002 report (having stood at
    12th in 1995, 10th in 1990 and eighth in 1985).


  • Article
    4 August 2003

    In August 2002, parliament removed the director of Slovak Television
    (Slovenská televízia, STV), the country's public broadcaster. The grounds
    were that he had signed a new collective agreement which awarded STV
    management excessive redundancy pay entitlements (SK0211102N [1]).
    Consequently, the vacancy was advertised and 40 candidates applied for the
    position. The Slovak Television Council (Rada Slovenskej televízie, Rada
    STV) - a body which is elected by parliament and is responsible for STV's
    objectivity and independence - proposed two candidates from among the
    applicants and parliament subsequently selected Richard Rybnicek as the new
    STV director. Parliament made the decision in the light of Mr Rybnicek's
    stated vision for STV's operation and of his TV management experience (he is
    a former director of a private TV station). On 15 January 2003, Mr Rybnicek
    was officially installed as the new STV director.


  • Article
    4 August 2003

    In July 2003, a trade union affiliated to the Dutch Christian Trade Union
    Federation (CNV) negotiated extra benefits for its own members in a
    redundancy agreement with the Getronics IT company. A similar deal was
    reached in 2002 by an affiliate of the Dutch Trade Union Federation (FNV) at
    Ballast Nedam, the construction firm. Both CNV and FNV expect more such
    agreements in future.

  • Article
    4 August 2003

    The employers’ organisation for the Dutch agriculture and horticulture
    sector, LTO Nederland, is to make a quarter of its staff redundant, it was
    announced in summer 2003. The factors behind the move include a continuing
    decline in the number of farmers and the fact that fewer of them are joining
    LTO Nederland.


  • COVID-19

    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, launched in April 2020, with five rounds completed at different stages during 2020, 2021 and 2022. This is complemented by the inclusion of research into the ongoing effects of the pandemic in much of Eurofound’s other areas of work.

  • Sectoral social dialogue

    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.

  • Minimum wages in the EU

    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.  

  • European Working Conditions Surveys

    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.

  • European Restructuring Monitor

    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.

  • Challenges and prospects in the EU

    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.

  • European Company Survey 2019

    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. 

  • National social partners and policymaking

    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).

  • New forms of employment

    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.

  • European Company Surveys

    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.

Forthcoming publications