Quality of life in a changing Europe


QUALITY is an innovative, quantitative and qualitative research project that aims to examine how, in an era of major change, European citizens living in different national welfare state regimes evaluate on the quality of their lives. The research project is implemented between 2006- 2008 and funded by the EC (6th Framework, Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-Based Society).

The project will analyse international-comparative data on the social well-being of citizens and collect new data on social quality in European workplaces in eight countries: UK, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary and a candidate country for the EU enlargement, Bulgaria.

Coordinating partner of the research project is Department of Sociology and ICS Research School of Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Finnish partner is Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä. 

Contact to Finnish research team


One of the most pressing challenges within the EU is to balance economic performance against socially sustainable forms of work organization, quality of jobs, and the preservation and improvement of the quality of life. At the European Council meeting in March 2005, the EU reiterated that growth and employment in an enlarged Europe, need to go hand in hand with the social quality of work and life. QUALITY extends the research on well-being by linking – from an international comparative perspective – the quality of work with well-being in a broader sense.

The project analyses international-comparative data on the social well-being of citizens and collects new data on social quality in European workplaces in eight countries. Research findings are therefore useful in the enlarged European Union. 

Aims and data

Overall aims of this project are:

1. to give insight, from an internationally-comparative perspective, in the quality of life and work of European citizens, the way the quality of life and work are interrelated, and the impact of public and organizational policies have on the well-being of European citizens;

2. to increase knowledge how and under what conditions European workplaces could be transformed into healthy organizations, where work is organized in a socially as well as economically sustainable manner;

3. to explore future trends by consulting national high-level groups (policy-makers, politicians, researchers, managers) and by sketching scenarios with respect to trends concerning the quality of life and work of European citizens;

4. to analyze whether, to what extent and how gender matters in the relationship between well-being and public and organizational policies.


An internet-based survey questionnaire will be developed for all respective countries. The survey sample will consist of 4 work organizations in each country, representing approximately 600 workers per country and both private and public sectors.

A case study, concentrating on one work organization in each country, will be carried out in order to collect in-depth information on the quality of work and life. Thematic interviews will be conducted among managers and workers of the organization.

Additionally, each country will organize two expert meetings to discuss on social and economic trends and future scenarios.


International comparative and country reports on social and economic trends, as well as findings of the study will be published in the course of the project.


Link to the international project’s site will be announced later.