|Comparative analysis of many aspects of the quality of life and of social cohesion, for example health, living conditions and economic situation of Europe's population, seeking to understand variation between member states, is hampered by the lack of an agreed, harmonised and validated classification of socio-economic positions. This proposal is designed to improve the state of the art in this area and to make demonstrable progress towards comparative research in a wide variety of areas relevant to the knowledge based society. These include the health, living conditions and labour market situation of men and women within Europe. By providing an essential comparative European research tool, this project will also greatly facilitate subsequent analyses of intergenerational social mobility and the intergenerational inheritance of inequalities. The proposed two-year programme of research and dissemination is a major collaborative effort by key actors in this area, most of who have worked together before. Via a detailed programme of work designed to create a conceptually clear, validated and easily operationalised socio-economic classification for use in comparative European analyses, key policy and scientific issues relating to health and socio-economic inequalities will be addressed. Validation studies relating to the proposed European Socio-economic Classification will include (inter alias) comparative analyses of health inequalities and analyses of labour market insecurity. Our work will also serve to improve the quality of public statistics in candidate countries and those EU member states that do not have national Sacs.