Surveys

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Eurofound has developed three regularly repeated pan-European surveys to contribute to the planning and establishment of better living and working conditions. The surveys offer a unique source of comparative information on the quality of living and working conditions across the EU. Detailed analysis of the survey data allows Eurofound to identify new and emerging trends, as well as to gain deeper insight in the issues central to European policy. The results provide a strong basis for policymakers to identify opportunities for improvement and to develop forward-looking perspectives. The surveys are a key element in Eurofound’s mission to provide high-quality information and advice for EU and national-level policymakers, social partners, researchers and European citizens alike.

European Company Survey (ECS)

Topics: The ECS gives an overview of workplace practices and how they are negotiated in European establishments. It is based on the views of both managers and employee representatives.

Frequency: Every four years, since 2004–2005

First survey: 2004–2005, launched as the European Survey on Working Time and Work–Life Balance. Covered 21 countries including the 15 ‘old’ EU Member States and 6 new Member States: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovenia

Second survey: 2009, launched under the new title European Company Survey, focusing on flexibility practices and the quality of social dialogue. Covered 30 countries including the 27 EU Member States, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey

Third survey: 2013, publication of Third ECS overview report in March 2015, focusing on workplace organisation, innovation, employee participation and social dialogue. Covered 32 countries including 27 EU Member States and Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro and Turkey. Secondary analysis is ongoing.

Data explorer: ECS interactive data visualisation tool

Next survey: Fieldwork for the fourth ECS starts in 2018, in partnership with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)

European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS)

Topics: The EQLS provides a comprehensive portrait of living conditions in European countries. It contains a broad range of indicators on different dimensions of quality of life, both objective and subjective. Given the high level of interest in the quality of life of European citizens, the EQLS is increasingly important for Eurofound’s contribution to the political and academic debate.

Frequency: Every four to five years, since 2003

First survey: 2003. Covered 28 countries, including 25 EU Member States and 3 candidate countries of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey

Second survey: 2007. Covered 31 countries, including the 27 EU Member States, Norway and the candidate countries of Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey

Third survey: 2011. Covered 34 countries, including 27 EU Member States and 7 candidate or pre-accession countries: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey

Fourth survey: 2016, with a specific focus on the quality of public services. Covered 33 countries, including the 28 EU Member States and the 5 candidate countries of Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey

Data explorer: Visualise, explore and compare EU and country data on quality of life, quality of society and public services in our EQLS interactive data visualisation tool

Next: Full 2016 data release in February/March 2018

European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS)

Topics: The EWCS is the longest running survey, and has become an established source of information about working conditions and the quality of work and employment. Having been implemented since 1990, it enables monitoring of long-term trends in working conditions in Europe. Themes covered include employment status, working time arrangements, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, worker participation, work–life balance, earnings and financial security, as well as work and health.

Frequency: Every five years

First survey: 1990–1991. Covered the EC12: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK

Second survey: 1995–1996. Covered the EU15: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the UK and the new Member States of Austria, Finland and Sweden

Third survey: 2000. Covered the EU15 and Norway in a first phase, with the survey being extended to the 12 'new' Member States in 2001, and Turkey in 2002 in a second phase

Fourth survey: 2005. Covered the EU27, Croatia, Turkey, Norway and Switzerland

Fifth survey: 2010. Covered the EU27, Croatia, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Turkey and Norway

Sixth survey: 2015. Publication of the Sixth EWCS overview report in November 2016, covering the EU28, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, as well as Norway and Switzerland

Data explorer: EWCS interactive data visualisation tool

Next survey: Fieldwork for the seventh EWCS will take place in 2020