Over three decades since it was initially established to respond to the need for reliable, impartial, evidence-based research and analysis on issues of key socioeconomic policy, Eurofound’s role remains as relevant today. Facing some of its greatest challenges yet, the social and economic implications for Europe are immense and far reaching. More than ever, policymakers require high-quality, comparative and timely information to help them debate, influence, develop and shape a better future for all citizens across the European Union. Eurofound’s role is to serve these decision-makers by responding to their information needs in the key areas of living and working conditions and managing change. Eurofound’s communication strategy provides the framework and overall direction for carrying out this work.
In 2013, Eurofound will focus on developing its capacity in the area of policy evaluation. The aim is to improve support to policymakers in identifying and understanding which policies in the employment and social area have been more effective than others. Eurofound’s core activity of monitoring developments across Member States is of particular relevance in 2013 as increasing divergence between Member States is a key concern.
The focus of Eurofound’s 2014 work programme will be on providing knowledge that will help to address Europe’s employment and social crisis. In relation to employment, the Agency will continue to provide information on ongoing changes in the employment structure. To support policies aimed at combating unemployment, the focus will be on job creation in SMEs and on initiatives for young people. For those in employment, sustainable working conditions throughout working life, as well as company practices that improve both working conditions and company performance, will be central research interests. The social crisis experienced in many Member States is closely related to the tightening of public budgets. Public services will receive special attention, with research examining how access, quality and effectiveness are impacted by the crisis and aiming to identify where and how they have successfully adapted to the dual challenge of increased demand for services and declining resources. These questions will guide research on a number of specific services and on social benefits.
The 2013 annual report from the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) presents a retrospective of over a decade of measuring the impact of large-scale restructuring activity in Europe. Based on a database containing details of over 16,000 large-scale restructuring events– each generally involving at least 100 job losses or gains – it paints a picture of restructuring trends across the EU Member States. The report sets out to compare activity in the period leading up to the economic and financial crisis (2003–2008) with the post-crisis period (2008–2013), in order to identify changes in restructuring practices and to pinpoint the sectors that have been disproportionately affected, in employment terms, by the global recession. Also included is a critical assessment of all ERM activities, including the two newer policy-oriented databases: public support instruments and restructuring legislation. Finally, the report places the spotlight on the phenomenon of offshoring, charting the decline in offshoring activity by European firms since the onset of the crisis.
The 2013 annual report from the European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) presents a retrospective of over a decade of measuring the impact of large-scale restructuring activity in Europe. It summarises restructuring trends based on a restructuring database that includes details of over 16,000 large-scale restructuring events – each generally involving at least 100 job losses or gains. In particular, the report focuses on comparing activity in the pre-crisis period (2003–2008) with the post-crisis period (2008–2013) in order to identify changes in the prevalence of different restructuring practices, and to show which sectors have been disproportionately affected, in employment terms, by the global recession.
This comparative report from the European Restructuring Monitor is based on data from correspondents in 28 EU Member States and Norway. It examines the reasons for the growth in temporary employment contracts across the EU and explores the situation regarding access to social protection for young people on temporary or fixed-term contracts. It reviews the measures put in place in various countries to regulate the use of these contracts – often with a view to encouraging the transition to standard contracts – and finally presents the opinions of the social partners on the issue. An executive summary is also available.
This report is the first output of Eurofound’s research project on the impacts of the recent financial and economic crisis on access to publicly financed healthcare services in the EU. It aims to provide an overview of context and developments, setting the scene for the ongoing research project. Following a description of the policy context, this report goes on to explore how the crisis has impacted demand for and supply of healthcare services. It characterises different dimensions of access and discusses how the crisis may have impacted on barriers to access. It highlights groups that have traditionally been in vulnerable situations with regard to access, as well as those that may have been particularly affected by the crisis.
This report examines social inequalities in the distribution of freedoms and opportunities among individuals and population subgroups in Europe. Using data from the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), the report builds up an evidence base on social inequalities in four critical areas of life: health, standard of living, productive and valued activities, and individual, family and social life. It examines the role of important determinants of social inequalities including gender, age, disability status, employment status and citizenship status, as well as other drivers. The report finds that, in some instances, there is evidence of disadvantages becoming more prevalent and social inequalities widening between the second wave of the EQLS in 2007 and the third wave in 2011. It recommends that growing policy attention to the multidimensional aspects of well-being be coupled with effective public action to address social inequalities and integrated into general policies at the European and Member State levels.
The third European Company Survey (ECS) maps practices in establishments with 10 or more employees across the EU28, and in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro and Turkey. In all, over 30,000 establishments were surveyed by Gallup Europe, with a target sample size per country ranging from 300 to 1,650. Topics comprise work organisation, human resources (HR) practices, employee participation and social dialogue, and how these practices support ‘smart growth’.