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  • Article
    30 September 2003

    In 2003, trade unions representing Polish coal miners have been protesting
    against mine closures and a World Bank loan to the government to finance the
    latest stage in the restructuring of the industry, which has been progressing
    since 1989. Cutting coal production and employment in the sector has been one
    of the most difficult and costly aspects of Poland's economic transformation
    and, while there have been major reductions in the workforce and production
    levels, many problems remain.

  • Article
    30 September 2003

    Since May 2003, Poland's national Tripartite Commission has been engaged in
    negotiations over a wide-ranging 'social agreement'. In September, employers'
    organisations and some trade unions reached a partial agreement on minimum
    wages, public sector pay increases and cuts in business taxes, which was
    accepted by the government. However, the NSZZ Solidarność trade union
    rejected the deal and withdrew from further negotiations over a full social
    agreement. The future of the overall social agreement initiative is now in
    some doubt.

  • Report summary
    30 September 2003

    The Foundation launched a research project to examine how to drive forward the social inclusion of people with illnesses. The term ‘illness’ refers in a broad sense to chronic (physical or mental) illness and disability. In concrete terms, the project aims to address the values and concepts underlying this issue and to examine how those concepts are in the process of being made operational. It reviews the nature and scale of the problems facing different groups. It also aims to identify policy initiatives in employment, education, housing, transport and other areas which facilitate social and economic integration, particularly where there are efforts towards more integrated policies or more comprehensive services. This summary document outlines the findings of the project, which have been published in a full report (EF0335). An information sheet (EF0332) on this topic is also available.

  • Article
    29 September 2003

    This article examines the Italian situation, as of August 2003, with regard
    to the implementation and impact of the 2000 EU Directive establishing a
    general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, which
    seeks to combat discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief,
    disability, age and sexual orientation.

  • Article
    29 September 2003

    This article examines the Greek situation, as of August 2003, with regard to
    the implementation and impact of the 2000 EU Directive establishing a general
    framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, which seeks to
    combat discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age
    and sexual orientation.

  • Article
    29 September 2003

    In its June 2003 coalition agreement, the Netherlands' new government
    announced major spending cuts affecting government departments, which will
    result in public sector job losses and wage restraint. Trade unions
    representing civil servants are fiercely opposed to the plans and question
    how the proposed job cuts can be consistent with the government's promises on
    improved public safety, care and education. The unions also claim that the
    planned wage restraint will further damage the public sector's ability to
    recruit and retain suitable qualified staff.

  • Article
    29 September 2003

    Since 2000, a number of agreements have been signed in Belgium's
    not-for-profit sector - which includes healthcare and 'socio-cultural'
    activities - focusing on issues such as working time reductions, the
    harmonisation of employment statuses and pay scales, and the presence of
    trade union delegations in small institutions. When a new socialist/liberal
    government was formed in July 2003, the trade unions conducted a review of
    the implementation of these agreements, and raised a number of issues of
    importance to the not-for-profit sector with the the new administration. The
    government's policy statement met some of these demands, particularly in
    respect of assistance in job creation.

  • Article
    29 September 2003

    In August 2003, the UGT trade union confederation published a document
    criticising the Spanish system of family benefits, an issue to which unions
    have hitherto paid little attention. UGT states that Spain spends less on
    family benefits than any other EU country and criticises the fact that
    benefit is mainly paid through tax deductions, thus disadvantaging
    lower-earning families. UGT is calling for a fairer system, not based on

  • Other
    29 September 2003

    The comparative supplement in this issue of EIRObserver focuses on the situation across the EU (plus Norway) with regard to one specific issue raised by the growth of ICT at work - the relationship between internet/e-mail use at work and respect for workers’ privacy. It examines: the European and national legal framework on privacy at work, data protection, and workplace internet/e-mail use; guidelines and codes of conduct in this area; the views and activities of the social partners; and the extent to which collective bargaining deals with such topics. EIRObserver is the bi-monthly bulletin of the European Industrial Relations Observatory. It contains an edited selection of feature and news items, based on some of the reports supplied for the EIROnline database over each two-month period, in this case for July and August 2003. In addition to this, EIRO conducts comparative research on specific themes.

  • Article
    25 September 2003

    At a joint press conference in late August 2003, the Minister of Local
    Government and Regional Development, Erna Solberg, and the Minister of
    Finance, Per-Kristian Foss, outlined the Norwegian government’s plan to
    change the current 'differentiated' social security scheme with a view to
    bringing it in line with recommendations made by the European Free Trade
    Association Surveillance Authority (ESA). The scheme is a regionally
    differentiated tax levied on employers for the use of employees, and
    represents an important regional policy measure to encourage employment and
    residence in the more disadvantaged areas of Norway. The scheme has been an
    issue of contention between Norway and the ESA since the European Economic
    Area (EEA) Agreement [1] was concluded in 1992, and despite numerous meetings
    and correspondence over the past couple of years, the Norwegian government
    has not managed to defend the scheme against increasing pressure for change
    from the ESA as well as the European Commission. The economic and
    employment-related effects of the proposed changes are difficult to foresee,
    but they are expected to have significant financial consequences for
    companies in the more disadvantaged regions of Norway.



  • 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.  

  • 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, 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.

  • 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