Accent on job creation, mobility, better working conditions and work-life balance in 2006

Access to good quality jobs for all workers is a central policy concern in the
European Union. The Foundation's 2006 work programme will focus on this
priority issue, while also dealing with the related issues of employment
creation and retention, mobility of workers and their families, working time
arrangements and work-life balance. Key tasks for 2006 include contribution to
the 2006 European Year of Workers' Mobility, and presenting findings from the
fourth European Working Conditions Survey, and the Company Survey on Working
Time and Work-life Balance. Finally, in November 2006, the Foundation will host
the third Foundation Forum, entitled 'Competitive Europe, Social Europe -
partners or rivals?'.

'The Foundation is in a strong position to contribute to the improvement of
living and working conditions for all Europeans,' affirms Jorma Karppinen,
Director of the Foundation, the Dublin-based EU agency. 'We have identified
themes for our 2006 work programme that increasingly affect our lives in the
competitive global environment. The results of our work will feed into the
debate and provide policymakers with information that could ultimately lead to
an enhanced quality of life for all European citizens.'

The Foundation will continue to provide data through its monitoring instruments
and surveys, which have proved very effective in building a picture of life in
the 25 Member States, as well as in Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Turkey.
Initial findings will be presented from the 2005 Findings from the Company
Survey on Working Time will be released in the first quarter of the year. At
the same time, preparations for the second European Quality of Life Survey will
get underway. In addition to weekly news releases from the European Industrial
Relations Observatory (EIRO) website, EIRO will feature an industrial relations
profile of each Member State. The Industrial Relations Annual Report will
present a comparison between current developments in Europe and its major
competing economies. The European Monitoring Centre on Change (EMCC) will
publish its first annual report on restructuring in Europe.

Information from the monitoring activities will be supplemented by in-depth
studies of 'what works'. An in-depth study of temporary agency work from the
point of view of industrial relations will be published at the beginning of the
year. The Foundation will then unveil a major study and database on Employment
initiatives for the Ageing workforce. Other studies will look at employment
opportunities in childcare, the 'attractive workplace' as a way for companies
to contribute to the Lisbon strategy, and strengthening the capacity for social
dialogue in the new Member States.

The Foundation will use a number of thematic campaigns - on mobility, work-life
balance and quality of work - to diffuse its message in 2006. The newly
launched twice-yearly magazine, Foundation Focus, will devote the two issues
for 2006 to the ageing workforce and equal opportunities. A new policy-oriented
publication, Foundation Findings, will be launched in the spring. As 2005 saw
a huge increase - by one third - in the number of web user sessions to the
Eurofound website, the planned integration of the Foundation's separate web
activities in 2006 under one common 'Eurofound' banner should make the site
even more user-friendly.

further info

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Foundation