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European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions

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European Foundation for Living and Working Conditions


Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 setting up the European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions



The regulation creates the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound).

Eurofound is designed to contribute to better living and working conditions in countries. It carries out its role in partnership with governments, employers, trade unions and the EU institutions (such as the Commission, the Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee).

Main tasks

Eurofound's main objectives are to

  • monitor trends and developments in the living and working conditions, industrial relations and structural change (e.g. change due to the introduction of new technologies) in the EU economy;
  • provide opinions and advice to social policy-makers and stakeholders in the areas of living and working conditions;
  • spread knowledge and organise debates and exchanges with representatives of civil society and social partners.

Research and communication activities

Eurofound's core activities are mainly research management and information and communication actions in the fields of

  • living conditions of EU citizens such as work-family life balance, public welfare services and pathways to integration into employment;
  • working conditions including the organisation of work, working times, flexibility and changes in working conditions throughout EU;
  • industrial relations, including industrial change and the restructuring of companies, worker participation in decision-making and industrial relations on an EU scale.

Eurofound fosters the exchange of information and best practices between universities, administrations and economic and social organisations.

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.

4-years work Programme (2013-2016)

Every 4 years, Eurofound reviews its strategy and the orientation of its work in a rolling programme.

A new 4-year strategic programme was adopted for the 2013-2016 period. Eurofound's strategic objective for this new 4-year work programme is to provide high-quality, timely and policy-relevant knowledge in 4 main areas:

  • 1.

    increasing labour market participation and combating unemployment by

    • creating jobs,
    • improving labour market functioning and
    • promoting integration;
  • 2.

    improving working conditions and making work sustainable throughout people lifetime;

  • 3.

    developing industrial relations to ensure equitable and productive solutions in a changing policy context;

  • 4.

    improving standards of living and promoting social cohesion in the face of economic disparities and social inequalities.

In this work programme, Eurofound provides facts and figures, shows trends and analyses policies in the EU countries. A list of specific relevant themes has also been defined with specific priority activities.


Eurofound cooperates with specialised academic institutes or universities in EU countries and at international level. It also works closely with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

The Foundation strongly cooperates as well with social partners at EU level such as ETUC (the European Trade Union Confederation) and BUSINESSEUROPE (the European employers' organisation).

Organisation and functioning

The Foundation is based in Ireland (Dublin). It comprises a Governing Board which represents the social partners and national governments of all EU countries, as well as the European Commission.

The Foundation has also set up 2 observatories:

  • the European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC) which analyses and anticipates change in the world of industry and business with a view to supporting economical and social progress in the day-to-day for people life;
  • the European Observatory of Working Life (EurWORK) which centralises all Eurofound's resources on working conditions and industrial relations.


It entered into force on 2 June 1975.


The Foundation was established 40 years ago in 1975 to contribute to the planning and design of better living and working conditions.


Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 of the Council of 26 May 1975 on the creation of a European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions (OJ L 139, 30.5.1975, pp. 1–4)

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is for reference only.

last update 11.01.2016