The Trade Union related Research Institutes (TURI) network aims at establishing a structural, non-thematic and long-term platform for formal contacts between the institutes supporting the trade union movement across Europe, thereby building the foundations for more and better collaboration and knowledge-sharing between them and integrating in a more natural way the European dimension in their research work. TURI should facilitate the emergence of common projects; it is a tool for mapping expertise and aims at helping trade union related institutes to engage in comparative research. TURI is a joint initiative of the ETUI and the Hans Böckler Foundation.
The implementation of the TURI project started in November 2007 and the network has been inaugurated by its initial members - 25 TURIs from 16 European countries - on their first meeting on 14 February 2008. Currently, TURI has 32 full members and 10 associated members. The institutes are heterogeneous in terms of size, financing and areas of expertise, but they all confirm the need for trade union related research institutes to pool their knowledge and competences on a European level in order to match the needs of the trade unions today. Many of the socioeconomic questions dealt with on a national level are of relevance for all or most trade unions in Europe. The various processes on the European and global level need European and global responses, and this goes for the research as well. Hence, there seems to be a need for a more systematic and formal approach to cooperation between the TURIs in Europe. The TURI platform should not substitute existing thematic networks, but rather be a centre for the establishment of future thematic networks when needed.