The third stage of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), during which the value
of the currencies of the 12 participating countries was fixed to the euro,
continued during 2001. Euro notes and coins came into circulation on 1
January 2002 and all national currencies in the 'euro-zone' were withdrawn by
28 February 2002 . The value of the euro remained relatively stable against
other major currencies during 2001. The average value of one euro in 2001 was
USD 0.896, JPY 108.7 and GBP 0.609.
The general election in September and the preceding campaign dominated
politics in Norway during 2001. The ruling Labour Party, (Det norske
Arbeiderpartiet, DnA) witnessed its most disastrous parliamentary election
result since 1900 and, although the largest single party in parliament after
the election, chose to resign from office. A new centre-right minority
coalition government entered office in October 2001, comprising the
Conservative Party (Høyre), the Christian Democratic Party (Kristelig
Folkeparti, KRF), and the Liberal Party (Venstre) (NO0110108F ). The new
Prime Minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik of KRF, had also been Prime Minister in
the centre coalition government which resigned in March 2000.
The present government is a coalition of the conservative People's Party
(Österreichische Volkspartei, ÖVP) and populist Freedom Party
(Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ), which came to office in February
2000 (AT0002212F ). A local election in Austria's capital, Vienna, held on
25 March 2001, resulted in the most significant losses for the FPÖ since it
came to government. Electoral support for the FPÖ fell by nearly 8
percentage points to 20.1%, a drop of more than one third. The Social
Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs, SPÖ) increased
its vote by 7.7 points and was once again able to govern the capital alone:
it lost its absolute majority in Vienna 10 years previously and had since
formed coalition governments with the ÖVP. The outcome of the election was
deemed crucial for the ÖVP/FPÖ coalition government at the federal level,
as it was seen as expressing a growing opposition to the government's ongoing
cutbacks in social security and welfare provision. Moreover, the government's
'austerity programme' and corresponding political initiatives provoked fierce
criticism from the SPÖ and the Greens (Die Grünen, GRÜNE) as well as
organised labour. Conflicts emerged, especially with the Austrian Trade Union
Federation (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund, ÖGB) (see below under
The main political event during 2001 was the general election, held on 13
May. The centre-right coalition, the House of Freedom (Casa delle LibertÃ )
- made up of Forza Italia, the National Alliance (Alleanza Nazionale), the
Northern League (Lega Nord), the Christian Democratic Centre (Centro
Cristiano Democratico, CCD) and the United Christian Democrats (Cristiani
Democratici Uniti, CDU) - won a large parliamentary majority. It obtained 366
seats out of 630 in the lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies,
and 177 out of 315 in the upper house, the Senate. It thus formed a new
government in June 2001, replacing the former centre-left administration.
Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of Forza Italia, became Prime Minister.
The Labour government elected in May 1997 was re-elected for a second
five-year term at the general election held in June 2001. The Labour Party's
majority over all other parties in the lower house of parliament, the House
of Commons, fell slightly but remained substantial at 167.
The European Commission adopted on 13 February 2002 an action plan  aimed
at removing obstacles to the mobility of EU workers, both between jobs and
between Member States, by 2005. Based on the recommendations  of the
high-level task force on skills and mobility, which were issued in December
2001 (EU0201234N ), the Commission's action plan focuses on three main
The European Council met under the Spanish Presidency in Barcelona on 15–16
March 2002 for its annual spring summit on the economic, social and
environmental situation in the European Union. Previous European Councils of
this type had been held in Lisbon in March 2000 (EU0004241F ) and
Stockholm in March 2001 (EU0104208F ).
On 24 January 2002, the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) recommended an
increase of 3.5% on pay scales and allowances for 495,000 teachers in England
and Wales, as from April 2002. It also recommended that the main pay scale
should be reduced from nine to six points in September 2002, enabling
newly-qualified entrants to apply to pass the 'performance threshold'
(UK0011100F ) and move onto the upper pay scale after five years.
In early February 2002 the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) expelled the
UK-based union, the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union (AEEU). AEEU
was expelled for not complying with an ICTU directive not to recruit
electricians in the Republic of Ireland and refusing to 'hand back' 39
electricians employed at the Cadburys food company who were 'poached' from
the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU) in 1998.
On 5 March 2002, a proposal for new legislation on the protection of
'personal integrity in working life' (Personlig integritet i arbetslivet,
/SOU 2002:18/) was submitted to the government by the commissioner it had
appointed to look into the issue, Reidunn Laurén (a former president of the
Administrative Court of Appeal). The commissioner was asked in September 1999
to examine the risks to 'personal integrity' and privacy raised by modern
working life, with a view to possibly proposing increased protection for
employees and job applicants related to new technology, medical examinations
and drug testing (SE9911105N ).
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.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) launched in 1990 and is carried out every five years, with the latest edition in 2020. 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.
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 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 two rounds – in April and in July 2020. 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 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.
Eurofound's representativness 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 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.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) is carried out every four to five years since its inception in 2003, with the latest edition in 2016. It examines both the objective circumstances of people's lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. It covers issues around employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. It also looks at subjective topics, such as people's levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and perceptions of the quality of society.
This report analyses the involvement of the national social partners in the implementation of policy reforms within the framework of social dialogue practices, and their involvement in elaborating the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and other key policy documents of the European Semester cycle.
This report builds on Eurofound's existing research on social mobility, assessing the distribution and transmission of wealth in Member States. It examines the roles of inheritance and household debt in explaining the transmission of advantage or disadvantage between the generations across Member States. The analysis is based on Eurosystem's Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS).
This report examines the contribution of social and employment services in EU Member States to the inclusion of people with disabilities, specifically in relation to the impact these have on labour market integration – in line with the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report includes a discussion of the costs and benefits of different approaches.
Living and working in Europe, Eurofound’s 2020 yearbook, provides a snapshot of what is happening in the work and lives of Europeans as explored in the Agency’s research activities over the course of 2020. The scope is broad, from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment and on people’s well-being to the inequalities in the working conditions of women and men. It also highlights the connections between Eurofound’s work and EU policy priorities in the coming years.
While the EU is considered to be a global leader in gender equality, it is not yet a reality for millions of Europeans given the different dynamics in the Member States. The EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025 acknowledges the slow speed of progress and outlines key actions to promote gender equality. Have all countries improved their performance? Which countries have been able to dramatically reduce gender inequality? Which countries lag behind?
As part of an annual series on minimum wages, this report summarises the key developments during 2020 and early 2021 with an emphasis on social partners’ roles and views. It looks at how minimum wages were set in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how minimum wages act as a reference for income support measures. Information from interviews with decision-makers on the process of setting the minimum wage in 2020, along with their assessment of impacts of the proposed EU Directive on adequate minimum wages is also included.
This joint publication with the European Environment Agency (EEA) presents the findings from complementary research carried out simultaneously by both agencies on the socioeconomic impacts of climate policies and measures. While Eurofound focuses particularly on the distributional effects of these policies based on the experiences of Member States, the EEA analyses scientific research about the monetary and non-monetary social impacts of climate mitigation policies and its outcome in terms of inequalities.
This report examines people's optimism about the future, for themselves and for others, and the extent to which it varies depending on one's social situation and perceptions of the quality of society. The study includes an analysis of the relationships between people’s perceptions of fairness and objective indicators of their social and economic situation and living standards.
The European Green Deal features high on Member State agendas. However, there are concerns that the necessary changes to climate policy may have undesirable socioeconomic consequences, such as regressive distributional effects and increased inequality. This report attempts to identify those policies where there is a significant risk involved and aims to provide guidance on how negative distributional risk can be mitigated.
Digital technologies have made it possible for many workers to carry out their work anytime and anywhere, with consequent advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages, for remote workers and teleworkers in particular, include the risk to health and well-being linked to long working hours. To address this issue, there have been calls for the ‘right to disconnect’. This report includes case studies that chart the implementation and impact of the right to disconnect at workplace level.