Trade unions, employer organisations and public authorities all play a role in the governance of the employment relationship. They are interlocking parts in a system that operates at European, national, sectoral, regional and company level. In recent years, as technology and forms of work evolve within a constantly changing economic environment, industrial relations systems have faced key challenges. In this context, the European Commission in 2015 launched a ‘new start’ for European social dialogue, and in a joint statement in June 2016, the Commission, Council and social partners underlined its fundamental role as a significant component of EU employment and social policymaking.
Over 40 years, Eurofound has developed as a key centre of expertise for monitoring and analysing trends in industrial relations. Drawing on the knowledge of its network of correspondents in 28 EU Member States and Norway, it has captured developments in all Member States and in the EU as a whole. Eurofound has produced comparative analyses and databases on working time and collectively agreed pay; profiles of working life developments across the Member States; and as mandated since 2006 by the European Commission, studies on the representativeness of European sectoral social partner organisations.
Eurofound provides systematic and comparable data on national industrial relations systems and developments in working life through monitoring and reporting tools drawing on contributions from its network of correspondents across 28 Member States.