European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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European members

Full members

Address :
Rue Paul-Emile Janson, 13
1050 Brussels
Contact :
Bart Vanhercke/ Françoise Verri
+32 2 5371971
+32 2 5392808

Short Description


The Observatoire social Européen/European Social Observatory (OSE) is a research, information and training centre that specialises in the social dimension of the European Union. It analyses the impact of European integration on social and employment policies at the level of both the EU and its Member States. The OSE lays the foundations for critical reflection by conducting policy-oriented research and formulating policy proposals. It has a forward-looking approach and operates as a think-tank, identifying issues as they emerge. It has organised several major international conferences, in particular during Belgium’s Presidencies of the European Union. The OSE works closely with the Belgian and European public authorities as well as with trade unions and civil society organisations.

Established in 1984, the OSE has recourse to a broad-based network of (academic and other) researchers, think-tanks, EU and national trade unionists, social partner representatives and social stakeholders. Its team of researchers and analysts – reinforced by its research associates, visiting scholars and interns from all over Europe and North America - is multidisciplinary and multilingual. This variety of disciplines and nationalities helps the OSE to embrace Europe’s complexity. Such diverse expertise – together with its scientific autonomy - constitutes one of its main strengths.

Over the years, the OSE has become a reference point for all who seek unbiased information on the social dimension of European integration, and on the policies affecting it. The OSE is a unique platform for dialogue concerning the future of social Europe, as it is open to the world at large and to public authorities, universities, the trade union movement and social organisations. The OSE is likewise a partner in several European Framework Programmes, and is active in key networks of academic excellence in Europe and North America.

Areas of expertise and competencies

The OSE has amassed expertise in cross-cutting areas such as economic and monetary union and its impact on the social dimension of European integration, institutional issues and the EU social policymaking mechanisms (including the open method of coordination, EU legislation and EU funding). More specifically, expertise covers the following policy areas:

- Employment and labour markets, restructuring and industrial change

- Education and training

- Gender and diversity

- Institutional matters including citizenship

- Health care

- Poverty and social exclusion

- Social dialogue

- Welfare systems and pensions.

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

For the current involvements of OSE in different projects and networks, please, consult the website (Project page).

Publications, language, newsletter

Through its involvement in social debate, the Observatoire has developed an array of information tools, some geared to the general public and others more specialised:

Since 1999 the OSE has been publishing an annual volume entitled “Social Developments in the European Union” in partnership with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). OSE researchers provide input into major research projects and publications while at the same time contributing to the development of a variety of OSE in-house resources:

  • the website (in English and French): a valuable source of up-to-date information on OSE projects, publications, events and staff (some 3,000 unique visitors per month);
  • the regular OSE Newsletter;
  • the Health Care Newsletter provides a regular summary of current EU developments that might affect national health care systems;
  • the OSE Working Paper Series takes the form of three different publications - "Research”, "Briefing” and “Opinion” papers - authored by the OSE research team, our research associates and high-profile external scholars;
  • the OSE Lunchtime Sessions during which leading scholars, policymakers and stakeholders shed light on issues at the top of the EU agenda for an audience consisting of OSE researchers and their guests.
  • Social media: our LinkedIn page (OSE Group[1]) has + 700 followers; the Twitter account (@OSE_be) has +500 followers.
  • Individual web pages of team members contain their key publications.


Other networks the institute is participating in

For an up-to-date overview of the networks the OSE is currently involved in, see the website (project page).

Address :
Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 5, boîte 4
1210 Brussels
Contact :
Mariya Nikolova, TURI coordinator
+32 (0)2 2240581

Short Description


The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) is the independent research and training centre of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) which itself affiliates European trade unions into a single European umbrella organisation. The ETUI places its expertise – acquired in particular in the context of its links with universities, academic and expert networks – in the service of workers’ interests at European level and of the strengthening of the social dimension of the European Union. Its aim is to support, reinforce and stimulate the trade union movement.

The Institute is composed of two departments:

  • A research department with three units: Europeanisation of industrial relations; Economic, employment and social policies; Working conditions, health and safety
  • An education department

The different kinds of support delivered by the ETUI are based on three components:

• firstly, multidisciplinary work, often carried out in teams composed of people with different professional backgrounds and experience;

• secondly, networks of national experts and trade union representatives assisting the ETUI and its staff; and,

• thirdly, activities organised by ETUI staff such as conferences, workshops, training courses and educational seminars.

The ETUI is a non-profit international association under Belgian law, employing a staff of some 70 persons from all over Europe. It receives financial support from the European Union.

Areas of expertise and competencies

The ETUI conducts studies on socio-economic topics and industrial relations and monitors European policy developments of strategic importance for the world of labour. It creates, what is more, bridges between the academic sphere, the world of research and the trade union movement in order to encourage independent research on topics of decisive relevance to the world of labour.

The ETUI encourages training and learning activities. It provides the ETUI and its affiliates with programmes and exchanges that strengthen the European trade union identity.

The ETUI provides technical assistance in the field of health and safety with a view to achieving a high level of occupational health and safety protection for workers throughout Europe.

Work programme, strategic plan, projects

Full details on current activities are outlined in the ETUI annual work programme. You can download the current work programme of the ETUI  here.

Publications, language, newsletter

ETUI publishes a wealth of books, reports, studies and policy briefs that examine and underpin the European social model. It produces the annual Benchmarking Working Europe report and Social Developments in Europe. It also publishes several thematic newsletters and the etui general newsletter.

Most publications are free to download, but can also be bought and ordered on-line. They are published in various languages and formats.

The ETUI's recently refurbished documentation centre is a major source of information on the European and international trade union movement, social and economic issues, industrial relations and worker health and safety. More than 19,000 publications and over two hundred specialist periodicals are available for consultation. The Labourline database is the electronic catalogue of the ETUI documentation centre. It provides access to more than 42,000 references of relevance to the world of labour. The database is enriched by an ever growing number of downloadable documents. (

Other networks the institute is participating in

Academic and expert networks are essential elements that support the ETUI research and training activities. They assist in compiling information and developing lines of argument in areas that are relevant for European trade unions. Researchers from both within the ETUI and outside regularly participate in conferences, forums and workshops. They maintain regular contact with the European institutions and provide in-depth expertise to the ETUC. The ETUI, together with the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, is the initiator and coordinator of the TURI network.