Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Policy Synthesis of EU Research Results, Series no 8: Quality of Work, EUR 23165

Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS


For some years now, namely since the proclamation of the Lisbon Strategy, demands for "better jobs" and for more "quality" in work have become prominent in European policy debates. For three years now, since 2003, improving quality at work has been one of the three overarching objectives of the common guidelines for the employment policies of the member states within the European Employment Strategy (EES) beside full employment and social cohesion. Fundamental for the meaning of quality in this respect is its connection to the productivity of work. With the clarification of the objective "improving quality and productivity at work" in the current employment guidelines, effective from 2005 to 2008, the dominating understanding of the issue is illustrated: "Synergies between quality at work, productivity and employment should be fully exploited." This statement as well as a large number of other policy statements does not specify what exactly is meant by "quality" but it makes clear that it is less an aim in itself than an integral part within a combined economic and employment policy approach.
This integrative understanding prompts a relevance of quality issues in many policy fields that almost cannot be overestimated. However, there is also a risk of loosing a clear focus on quality when pursuing employment and economic objectives. Just a few years ago the readiness to address quality more directly as an aim in itself seemed to be more often expressed than it is today.

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