18 May 2011
(Dublin, Ireland) Working conditions in the EU Member States have worsened during the economic downturn, with big differences between all countries. Its is particularly young workers that has suffered, often subject to more flexible and less secure employment conditions, including a comparatively high share of fixed-term contracts and temporary agency work. This will have serious consequences for their personal development as well as social cohesion overall.
These were some of the conclusions by Pervenche Berès (F_S-D), Chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, during a visit to Eurofound, the Dublin-based EU agency. Mrs Berès led a small delegation with Mr Proinsias De Rossa (IRL_S-D), Member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, and officials, and was received by Juan Menendez-Valdez, Eurofound’s Director, and senior Eurofound staff. Following the discussions, Mrs Berès called for a stronger involvement of the EP in the Eurofound’s next four-year work programme.
The visit took place ahead of the joint seminar on Youth Employment, co-organised by the EP Employment and Social Affairs Committee and the four social EU Agencies’ (Eurofound, Cedefop, ETF and EU-OSHA) in Brussels on 30 June 2011.
The discussions during the two-day visit focused on Eurofound’s most recent research data, findings and analysis of the European social model and well-being, among them;
> The quality of work and innovative workplace organisations,
> Shifts in the employment structure during the great recession,
> The impact of the crisis on social dialogue,
>Working conditions and wages, and
> Industrial restructuring, including the efficiency of European Work Councils.
A special presentation was also made of Eurofound’s involvement in the CLIP project (Cities for Local Integration Policies for migrants).
Eurofound, or the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, is a tripartite EU body, whose role is to provide key actors in social policymaking with findings, knowledge and advice drawn from comparative research.