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European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)

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European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND) is a tripartite body of the Union, created in 1975 with the aim of assisting in the planning and introduction of better living and working conditions in Europe. Its more specific objectives are to evaluate and analyse living and working conditions; provide authoritative opinions and advice to social policymakers and stakeholders; contribute to improving the quality of life; and take stock of developments and trends, particularly those giving rise to change.


Council Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 on the creation of a European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions [See amending acts].


The aim of EUROFOUND is to contribute to the planning and establishment of better living and working conditions with action designed to increase and spread knowledge which will help to achieve this.

The foundation takes the relevant Community policies into account when carrying out its tasks and advises the Community institutions on foreseeable objectives and guidelines by forwarding in particular scientific information and technical data.

  • As regards the improvement of living and working conditions, the foundation deals more specifically with the following areas:
  • working conditions, including the organisation of work, working times, flexibility, dealing with changes in working conditions;
  • living conditions, i.e. all aspects influencing the daily life of European citizens, including the work-family life balance, the provision of public welfare services and pathways to integration into employment;
  • industrial relations, including industrial change and corporate restructuring, worker participation in decision-making and the Europeanisation of industrial relations.

The foundation fosters the exchange of information and experience: it facilitates contact between universities, administrations and economic and social organisations, and encourages concerted action. It organises courses, conferences and seminars and participates in studies. It also makes available data and opinions emerging from independent and comparative research to governments, employers, trade unions and the European Commission.

The foundation cooperates as closely as possible with specialised institutes, foundations and bodies in the Member States or at international level and ensures appropriate cooperation with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

The foundation has legal personality and it sits in Ireland (Dublin). It comprises a Governing Board, a Bureau, a Director and a Deputy Director:

  • the Governing Board consists of 78 members, namely 25 members representing the Governments of the Member States, 25 members representing the employers' organisations, 25 members representing the employees' organisations and three members representing the Commission. Their term of office is three years and renewable. The Governing Board governs the foundation, whose guidelines it lays down. On the basis of a draft submitted by the director, the Administrative Board adopts the four-year revolving programme and the annual programme of work in agreement with the Commission;
  • the Director directs the foundation and implements the decisions of the Governing Board. They are appointed by the Commission for a maximum period of five years. Theterm of office of the Director is renewable. Each year, by 1 July, s/he prepares an annual work programme and an estimate of the necessary expenditure;
  • the Bureau comprises 11 members. It is made up of the chairpersons and the three vice-chairpeople of the Governing Board, one coordinator for each of the three groups of representatives (employers, workers and Commission), and an additional representative for each of these three groups. The Bureau monitors the implementation of the Governing Board's decisions and takes all necessary steps to ensure that the foundation is managed properly between meetings of the Governing Board.

If the Director so suggests, the Governing Board has the possibility of selecting independent experts and seeking their opinions on specific issues relating to the four-year rolling programme and the annual work programme.

Since November 2003, the Regulation creating the Dublin Foundation has been in line with the new Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (June 2002) and with the Regulation regarding public access to documents (May 2001).

The Foundation recently set up the European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC) in order to analyse and anticipate change in the world of industry and business with a view to supporting socio-economic progress.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75



OJ L 139 of 30.5.1975

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EEC) No 1947/93



OJ L 181 of 23.7.1993

Regulation (EC) No 1649/2003



OJ L 245 of 29.9.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1111/2005



OJ L 184 of 15.7.2005

See also

Last updated: 25.05.2007