European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) - (Decentralised Agencies)

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Decentralised Agencies

Decentralised agencies contribute to the implementation of EU policies. They also support cooperation between the EU and national governments by pooling technical and specialist expertise from both the EU institutions and national authorities. Decentralised agencies are set up for an indefinite period and are located across the EU.


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



  • Role: Provides research-based input for the development of social, employment and work-related policies
  • Director: Juan Menéndez-Valdés
  • Set up: 1975
  • Staff: 100
  • Location: Dublin (Ireland)
  • Website: Eurofound

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) is a European Union (EU) Agency providing knowledge to help develop social, employment and work-related policies according to Regulation (EU) 2019/127.


What does Eurofound do?

Eurofound's core activities are:

  • researching social, employment and work-related topics
  • communicating the results and conclusions of its research to EU and national policymakers to help them make policies to improve living and working conditions, develop employment policies and promote social dialogue
  • facilitating knowledge sharing among and between people involved in this area at EU level and nationally

It conducts research projects and 3 EU-wide surveys on:

It maintains 3 observatories to provide up-to-date information on:

Its work provides an evidence base for policy – such as the EU Directive on work-life balance, the European youth unemployment initiatives and the Youth Guarantee.

Eurofound disseminates its research findings and policy-relevant knowledge in various ways:



With around 100 staff specialising in socioeconomic research, communication and public administration, Eurofound is managed by an Executive Director who reports to a Management Board, and a Deputy Director who reports to the Executive Director. 

The Management Board is made up of:

  • representatives of the governments and social partners (employers and trade unions) in each EU Member State
  • representatives of the European Commission
  • one independent expert appointed by the European Parliament

It meets at least once a year to discuss and adopt the multiannual and annual work programmes, and the annual budget. The Board also has representatives from the Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland as observers. 

An Executive Board meets at least 3 times a year to facilitate the Management Board’s work.

Eurofound also maintains a Brussels Liaison Office (BLO), to boost the visibility and impact of Eurofound research at EU level, and monitor policy developments.


How does Eurofound work?

Every 4 years, after wide-ranging consultations with the Management Board and the EU institutions, it draws up a programming document. 

Multiannual programme 2017-2020

Eurofound carries out the projects the annual work programme using the research and monitoring resources described above.

It works together closely on joint research and communication activities with its sister agencies:


Who benefits?

Mainly EU-level decision-makers:

  • EU institutions
  • EU-level employers
  • EU-level trade union groups

Eurofound also serves:

  • national governments, employer organisations, trade unions and civil society organisations
  • parliaments
  • research institutes
  • universities


See also

Recent and forthcoming publications

Living and working in Europe yearbook

Corporate brochure

Multiannual and annual work programmes

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