European and international collaboration

The methodology and questionnaires used in Eurofound’s pan-European surveys are freely available for use by other researchers, subject to certain copyright conditions, and many have expressed an interest in using our materials or collaborating with Eurofound.

European-level collaboration

In recent editions of the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), national governments in Belgium, France, Slovenia and Spain have funded an increase in the sample size at their own cost in order to carry out more in-depth analysis. Both Norway and Switzerland have been involved in the EWCS for a number of years.

Similarly, Italy’s National Institute for Public Policy Analysis (INAPP) funded an increase in the sample size for Italy for the European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) in 2016.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), Eurofound has provided EU-OSHA with useful insight into the development of survey methodology and survey design. EU-OSHA applied the methodology from Eurofound’s European Company Survey (ECS) in its 2009 European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER). The teams working on the ECS and ESENER are in regular contact to ensure lessons learned on each of the projects are shared between the agencies. The ECS 2019 was carried out in partnership with the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop). The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) uses EWCS data for its Gender Equality Index. Eurofound has also supported the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) in its survey preparation.

The European Commission (DG NEAR) supports the inclusion of the EU candidate and potential candidate countries in Eurofound’s surveys.

International collaboration

The EWCS questionnaire and methodology are a source of inspiration for other surveys in the world: for example, the American Working Conditions Survey, the South Korea Working Conditions Survey and the Israel social survey 2016. Some countries in Central America, as well as Argentina, Chile and Uruguay use adapted EWCS questionnaires in carrying out national surveys. A limited number of EWCS questions have been included in the 2016 China Urban Labour Survey.

International Labour Organization

To overcome the lack of reliable data and information on working conditions in developing and transition countries, Eurofound and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have joined forces to develop projects on the monitoring and analysis of working conditions globally.

Eurofound has collaborated with the ILO on a pioneering project on monitoring working conditions around the world which analyses developments in job quality and quality of working life in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Both organisations have also developed a standard methodology for a Global Working Conditions Survey (GWCS) to create a national-level open tool adaptable to fit best the needs of the country tripartite actors, which is an essential part of the ILO’s Decent Work Country Programmes.

United Nations

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has used Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) questionnaire in the past to carry out surveys on quality of life in Croatia and North Macedonia.

International guidelines and policy monitoring

Eurofound has also contributed to the development of international statistical guidelines on measuring job quality and working life through surveys. Examples include:

The EWCS is also used to monitor developments in job quality, for example in the Joint Assessment Framework of the European Commission, or the OECD’s work on job quality. Eurostat uses some EWCS questions to monitor quality of employment in Europe.

In an international context, the EQLS provides a distinctive contribution due to its coverage of all the EU Member States, multifaceted information in one data set, as well as coverage of both the working and non-working population. EQLS data are part of several international monitoring initiatives:

  • Gender Equality Index by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) uses EQLS and EWCS data to cover the domain of time
  • Active Aging Index, supported by the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
  • Social Cohesion Radar (2013 and 2014) by the Bertelsmann Foundation

The EQLS has been an important source in both the research and public debate contributing to the development of the Commission’s Beyond GDP agenda. It has also been used in the development of a set of Eurostat indicators on quality of life.