Key findings from the European Company Survey 2019 (ECS)

On Tuesday 13 October 2020, Cedefop together with the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) ran a webinar entitled Workplace practices unlocking employee potential. It was the first of three webinars (see Future webinars below) to discuss the key findings of the European Company Survey 2019 and their implications for policy and practice.


Speaker Joost Korte, Director-General of DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion set the scene alongside contributions from Directors Jürgen Siebel, Cedefop and  Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound . Moderated by Lucinda Creighton, CEO of Vulcan Consulting and former Irish Minister for European Affairs, a panel discussion with Gabriele Bischoff, MEP and Lucas van Wees, President of the European Association for People management (EAPM) followed a presentation of findings from report authors Giovanni Russo, Cedefop, and Gijs van Houten, Eurofound. Participants were invited to join the discussions via a Q&A and LIVE online chat.

The LIVE webinar was an opportunity to discuss the fresh findings and explore ways to create a work environment that facilitates and motivates employees to use their skills and knowledge to the full.


Webinar slides ECS 2019 report launch event


09.30 CET Welcome and introduction
09.45 CET Presentation of key findings ECS 2019
09.55 CET Panel debate on ECS 2019 findings
10.25 CET Questions & Answers
10.55 CET Webinar closes


Gabrielle Bischoff

In May 2019, Gabriele Bischoff has been elected as Member of the European Parliament for the Socialists and Democrats Group. Here, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Committee for Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and as full member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and Substitute of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). She commits her parliamentary work to core social-democratic topics: Minimum wages, minimum resources, collective bargaining and a socially fair EU-Semester. Moreover, she is dedicated to ensuring a broad participation of citizens within the reform process “The Conference of the Future of Europe” which is about to start.

Lucinda Creighton

Lucinda Creighton is CEO of Vulcan Consulting Ltd. She is a barrister, qualified New York attorney, former Irish Minister for European Affairs and Member of the Irish Parliament. As Minister for European Affairs she represented Ireland in key negotiations on Ireland’s EU/IMF bailout. During Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of European Union, Creighton led negotiations with 28 Member States on the €960 billion EU Budget, as well as representing the continent in bilateral trade discussions in the United States, leading to the start of formal TTIP negotiations. From 2012 to 2014 she also served as Vice President of the European People’s Party (EPP).

Joost Korte
Joost Korte was appointed Director General for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour in 2018. Previously, he was Deputy Director-General of DG Trade and, before this role, the Dutch national served as Deputy Director-General at DG Agriculture and Rural Development Department, as well as in the Enlargement Directorate General. Joost Korte also spent several years in the Commission’s Secretariat General as Director responsible for the relations with the Council of Ministers and gained extensive experience in the Private offices of Sir Leon Brittan, Chris Patten and Danuta Hübner. A lawyer by training, he joined the Commission in 1991, following eight years of academic work on European law at the Universities of Utrecht and Edinburgh.

Juan Menéndez-Valdés
Executive Director

Juan Menéndez-Valdés is Eurofound's Executive Director since December 2010. He is responsible for the development of the medium-term strategy of the Agency and its annual work programmes, which are approved by Eurofound’s tripartite Management Board. He leads a team of more than 100 researchers, communication specialists and support staff in the implementation of the work programmes, which are geared towards providing knowledge to assist policymakers in the development of social, employment and work-related policies. In his earlier career, he served at the Spanish Confederation of Business (CEOE) and in the Spanish National Employment Service (INEM). He holds a degree in Psychology, a master’s in Industrial Psychology and Human Resources and a postgraduate degree in European Studies.

Giovanni Russo
Report author

Giovanni Russo holds a position as Expert at Cedefop, where he works on the issues of skills development, skills mismatch, and skills utilisation. With a background in Labour and Behaviour Economics, he joined Cedefop in 2010, after more than 15 years of career in academia. Previously he was Associate Professor at Utrecht University, Utrecht School of Economics. He has published in various international journals. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Free University of Amsterdam.

Jürgen Siebel
Executive Director

Jürgen Siebel joined Cedefop from the private sector in September 2019. As Executive Director, he is responsible for managing the Agency’s operations in accordance with the strategic direction of its tripartite Management Board. Jürgen has a background in human resources management with particular emphasis on learning and education, the strategic development and roll-out of work-based vocational education and training programmes, as well as related corporate social responsibility initiatives. In this context he has also collaborated with institutional actors at national, European and global levels. Before joining Cedefop in Thessaloniki, Jürgen served for 20 years in various leading operational and strategic HR roles in Siemens, mostly as senior manager with global governance or business partner responsibilities.

Gijs van Houten
Report author

Gijs van Houten is a Research Manager in Eurofound’s Employment unit with specific expertise in cross-national survey methodology and the analysis of workplace practices and organisational strategies. Gijs joined Eurofound in 2010 and has worked on all three Eurofound surveys, focusing on the European Company Survey in recent years. He spent a year away in 2016, working at the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC. He holds a Masters in sociology from Radboud University Nijmegen and a PhD in social science from Utrecht University. He lectured in quantitative research methods at University College Dublin and in policy analysis and institutional theory at Utrecht University. Before joining Eurofound he worked at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP).

Lucas van Wees

Lucas van Wees, MBA MBT, was elected President of the European Association of People Management (EAPM) in 2017 and is a Board member of the World Federation of People Management Associations (WFPMA). He has served on the Board of the Dutch Association of Personnel Management (NVP). Previously, Lucas van Wees worked for Philips, Shell, KPN in HR, management and commercial roles. In 2016, he became the Director HRM for the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He has co-authored and published various international articles on Career Management, Management Development and HR practices. He holds a B.Sc in Tourism & Leisure (Breda) and Masters in Social Sciences (Tilburg), Telecommunications (Delft) and Business (IMD, Lausanne).

About the European Company Survey

ECS 2019 provides comparative data on workplace strategies and practices for work organisation, human resource management, skills use and skills development, employee participation and social dialogue, in establishments across the 27 EU Member States and the United Kingdom.

The report demonstrates how companies can design their workplace practices to generate outcomes that benefit both workers and employers. It shows that by bundling practices that increase employee autonomy, facilitate employee voice and promote training and learning, businesses can boost performance while improving aspects of workers’ job quality.

Future webinars

  • On 20 October, the second online #AskTheExpert webinar on employee involvement will take place. This will be an opportunity to dig deeper into the ECS 2019 findings relating to this area with Gijs van Houten from Eurofound and worker and employer representatives. An online LIVE chat will also be available.
  • On 29 October, the third online #AskTheExpert webinar on skills use will take place. Giovanni Russo from Cedefop will share findings relating to skills and following a discussion with worker and employer representatives will take questions via an online LIVE chat.

Event details

Event Date(s)
Event Type
Virtual event
Cedefop involvement


Giovanni Russo
Béatrice Herpin