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 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.
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.
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 study provides information allowing for an assessment of the representativeness of the actors involved in the European sectoral social dialogue committee for the electricity 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 study on representativeness is to identify the relevant national and European social partner organisations in the electricity sector in the EU Member States.
This paper provides an analytical summary of state of the art academic and policy literature on the impact of climate change and policies to manage transitions to a carbon neutral economy on employment, working conditions, social dialogue and living conditions. It maps the key empirical findings around the impact of climate change and the green transitions on jobs, sectors, regions and countries in Europe, identifying the opportunities and risks that climate change policies bring to European labour markets.
Given that compliance with lockdown measures is a first line of defence against COVID-19, maintaining trust in institutions is vital to ensure a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response to the pandemic. This report investigates developments in institutional and interpersonal trust across time, with a particular emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic period and its impact. It examines the link between trust and discontent and investigates the effect of multidimensional inequalities as a driver of distrust.
The civil aviation sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most severe crises the sector has ever experienced, giving rise to a number of significant challenges for companies and workers alike. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
This policy brief will provide an update on upward convergence in the economic, social and institutional dimensions of the European Union, as outlined in the European Pillar of Social Rights and its accompanying Social Scoreboard.
Lockdown measures and the economic shift following the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widening of the gender divide between men and women, putting at risk some of the gender equality gains that had been made in previous years. This report analyses changes in the distribution of paid and unpaid work, along with care and domestic responsibilities, among men and women during the crisis. It also explores the impact of the pandemic on the well-being of women and men.
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.
The hospital sector has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals and their workers are on the frontline in the fight against the virus, and they face a number of significant challenges in terms of resources, work organisation and working conditions. This study will explore the role of social dialogue and collective bargaining in how the sector is adapting to the pandemic. What kinds of changes have been introduced, either through social dialogue or collective bargaining? Are the changes temporary or permanent?
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have varied across sectors, occupations and categories of worker (for instance, according to gender, age or employment status). Hours worked have declined the most in sectors such as accommodation services and food and beverage services, and in occupations heavily reliant on in-person interaction, such as sales work. At the same time, it’s in these sectors that labour shortages have become increasingly evident as labour markets have begun to normalise.
This report analyses the working lives of workers in Europe in 2021, when the continent was still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It examines working conditions during that period and the association between job quality and work outcomes such as health and well-being, work–life balance, and financial security. The report also considers how the shifts in working life during the pandemic are likely to affect work in the future.