Quality of work is a core element of the European social model. In this article we analyse the role and instruments of EU actors in this policy area in order to discover the extent to which it has been institutionalized since the mid-1990s. We first demonstrate that quality of work has to be understood as a multi-dimensional concept, before analysing the respective roles of and interactions between the Council, the Commission, the European Parliament and the social partners. Both the definition of the subject as a policy problem and the construction of a comprehensive indicator-based monitoring tool represent necessary, albeit not sufficient, steps to promote the quality dimension of work. The article is based on document and secondary literature analysis as well as expert interviews.