The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency providing knowledge to assist in the development of social and work-related policies. Eurofound has developed three regularly repeated surveys to contribute to the planning and establishment of better living and working conditions in Europe. GESIS and Eurofound cooperate to increase the visibility of the surveys to researchers in Germany and internationally.
The surveys offer a unique source of comparative information on the quality of living and working conditions across the EU. Detailed analysis of the survey data allows Eurofound to identify new and emerging trends, as well as to gain deeper insight in the issues central to European policy. The results provide a strong basis for policymakers to identify opportunities for improvement and to develop forward looking perspectives. The surveys are a key element in Eurofound’s mission to provide high quality information and advice for EU and national level policy makers, social partners, researchers and European citizens alike.
By default, Eurofound surveys cover all the EU Member States, plus some enlargement and other countries.
The European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), implemented in 2003, 2007 and 2011-12, provides a comprehensive portrait of living conditions in European countries. It contains a broad range of indicators on different dimensions of quality of life, both objective and subjective. In addition, some EQLS questions were used in a Special Eurobarometer on Poverty and Social Exclusion in autumn 2009 and 2010.
The European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) is the longest running survey, and has become an established source of information about working conditions and the quality of work and employment. With five waves having been implemented since 1990, it enables monitoring of long-term trends in working conditions in Europe. Themes covered include employment status, working time arrangements, work organisation, learning and training, physical and psychosocial risk factors, health and safety, worker participation, work-life balance, earnings and financial security, as well as work and health.
The European Company Survey (ECS) was first launched in 2004/2005 and repeated in 2009 and 2013. Based on the views of both managers and employee representatives, the survey gives an overview of workplace practices and how they are negotiated in European establishments.
It is Eurofound policy to make the questionnaires and datasets freely available to the public. Questionnaires are made available upon completion of the survey fieldwork. Survey datasets are made available no later than two years after fieldwork completion.
The Eurofound datasets and accompanying materials are stored with the UK Data Service in Essex, UK and promoted online via their website.
Survey results by question are also available through the Eurofound Survey Mapping Tool