The European Trade Union Confederation or ETUC is, as the name suggests, a continent wide federation of trades unions; its membership consists of 74 national trades union confederations from a total of 34 European countries, as well as a further 11 European industry federations, representing a total of 60 million individuals. The ETUC was formed in 1973 with the intention of providing a voice for the trade union movement in the push towards greater European economic and political integration.

The ETUC has established three specialised institutes to support its work;

The ETUC is recognised by all the major European bodies such as the European Union, by the Council of Europe and by EFTA as the only representative cross-sectoral trade union organisation at European level. It has a specifically privileged role in European Union politics being the main social partner for employees consulted by the European Commission.