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November 2011 - February 2012

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14/11/2011 - High level stakeholder conference on flexicurity

• Opening Session: Past experience of flexicurity - evaluation and lessons learned

- Opening statement by László Andor, Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs
- Views from Presidency of the Council by Czeslawa Ostrowska, Deputy Minister in Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Poland
- An overview of flexicurity practices in the EU by Ton Wilthagen, Director for the Research Institute for Flexicurity (ReflecT)
- Assessment by employees' organisations, Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary, ETUC
- Assessment by employers' organisations,Philippe de Buck, Director General, BusinessEurope
- Views from the European Parliament by Regina Bastos, MEP, Employment Committee

• Panel I: Which flexicurity policies in a context of tight budgetary constraints and high unemployment?

- What flexicurity policy options in times of pressure to reduce budget deficits? by Ralf Resch, General Secretary CEEP; Andrea Benassi, General Secretary UEAPME and Erich Foglar, President ÖGB – Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund
- Does flexicurity always cost money and who bears it?, by Bo Smith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Employment, Denmark
- Should the flexicurity pillars and principles be modernised?, by Mik Woolley, Chair of the Employment Committee

• Panel II: What governance for a better balance between flexibility and security?

- Flexicurity in times of economic restructuring, Joëlle Milquet, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Employment and Equal Opportunities, Belgium
- Delivering flexicurity - challenges and opportunities for cooperation between governments and social partners by Maarten Camps, Director-General, Ministry for Social Affairs and Employment, The Netherlands
- What role for social dialogue to improve and effectively deliver a better balance between flexibility and security? by Martin Kannegiesser, President of CEEMET, and by Mr. Ulrich Eckelmann, General Secretary, FEM
- What role for employment services to deliver flexicurity? by Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist, Head of the Swedish Public Employment Services and by Anne Marie Muntz, President of Board, Eurociett

• Closing Statement by Koos Richelle, Director General, DG Employment and Social Affairs

18/11/2011 - Conference on promoting social entrepreneurship in Europe

The Commission has held a conference to discuss with stakeholders adequate policy-making to help develop social entrepreneurship in the EU. The meeting was divided in 4 sessions as follows:
• Welcome and introduction: Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, and Grażyna Henclewska, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Economy of Poland
• Session 1: How to make entrepreneurship work with social innovation?

- Keynote speech: Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank, Nobel Peace Prize 2006
- László Andor, Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs; Staffan Nilsson, Chairman of the European Economic & Social Committee; Marc Tarabella, European Parliament, Co-Chair of the intergroup Social Economy; Sergio Arzeni, Director of OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development (CFE) and Head of LEED Programme; and Jean-Daniel Muller, Director General of Groupe associatif Siel Bleu (France)

• Session 2: How to design an appropriate financial frame for social entrepreneurship in the EU?

- Keynote speech: Ole Sohn, Minister for Business and Growth of Denmark
- Nadia Calviño, Deputy Director-General, DG Internal Market and Services; Sven Giegold, MEP; Richard Pelly, CEO of the European Investment Fund; Sir Ronald Cohen, Co-founder and Chair of Bridges Ventures and Chair of Big Society Capital Ltd (UK); and Boris Marte, Member of the Board and Managing Director of the Erste Foundation
- Keynote speech: José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission

• Session 3: How to promote social entrepreneurship, ensure better capacity building and foster entrepreneurs’ education?

- Keynote speech: Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society of the UK
- Heinz Zourek, Director-General, DG Enterprise and Industry, Commission; Pervenche Berès, MEP, Chair of the Employment & Social Affairs Committee; Conny Reuter, President of Social Platform and Secretary General of Solidar; Caroline Casey, Founder of Kanchi and Ashoka fellow; and Mirjam Schöning, Senior Director and Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship (Switzerland)

• Session 4: How to develop an adequate regulatory and economic framework for socially-driven ventures?

- Keynote speech: Jaloul Ayed, Minister for Finance of Tunisia
- Gert-Jan Koopman, Deputy Director-General, DG Competition, Commission; Maria Nowak, Chair of ADIE International (France); Hugues Sibille, Vice-President of Crédit Coopératif, Vice-President of Mouvement des Entrepreneurs Sociaux, President of AVISE (France); Martina Romanello, Manager of Gioco, Musica e Parole and Member of Euclid Network (Italy); Felix Oldenburg, Director of Ashoka Europe (Germany)

• Closing speech: László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs

24/11/2011 - Conference on the role of the social partners in implementing European tools and principles

Jointly organised by CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) and the European social partners, the aim of this conference was to address the challenges involved in implementing the European tools and principles for education, training and learning across Europe.
• Welcome and opening speeches: Nadja Hirsch, MEP; Christian Lettmayr, Acting Director, Cedefop; Hélène Clark, Director for Lifelong Learning - Policies and Programme, Commission; Steven D’Haeseleer, BusinessEurope; Luca Visentini, ETUC, Confederal Secretary
• EU tools for Vocational and Educational Training (VET) and Lifelong Learning (LLL): state of play and future challenges: introduction by Mara Brugia, Cedefop; Jens Bjørnavøld, Cedefop; Gerhard Riemer, Federation of Austrian Industries, Austria; and Hermann Nehls, ETUC, Chair of Cedefop’s Governing Board
• Parallel working groups: group 3 on the role of sectors in taking forward the implementation of EU tools and principles: chair and introductory speech, Loukas Zahilas, Cedefop
- Luisa Coutinho, Portugal and Tim Jessop, UK, European Welding Federation; Professor Linda Clarke, Westminster Business School, UK and Professor Christopher Winch, King’s College, UK; Ben Gittus, EOSE Director of Standards, UK; Brigitte Mester, Eurocommerce; and Sylvain Lefebvre, political Secretary of EMCEF
• Parallel social partners groups: discussion in one group of employers and one of employees

24/11/2011 - 25/11/2011 - Conference in Warsaw on negotiation, consultation and autonomy of EU social partners: 20 years of the Social Partners' Agreement

The Commission has hold a two-day conference in Warsaw with the aim to focus on the history of social partners' agreements, how they work, their scope and nature, how can they be promoted and prospects for the future.
a.) Thursday 24th November
• Session 1: From the social agreement to the Treaty – challenges - Chair: Jean-Paul Tricart, Commission; Jean Lapeyre, Head of mission SYNDEX; Patrick Venturini, Secretary General of AICESIS; and Thérèse de Liedekerke, Managing Director of BusinessEurope
• Session 2: Statements from the Commission and the Presidency of the Council

- László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Jolanta Fedak, Minister for Employment and Social Affairs, Poland

• Session 3: From the social agreement to the Treaty – putting EU social dialogue into practice

- Development of autonomous social partner activities and the work programme of cross-industry social dialogue: Leif Dergel, ETUC and Michael Brodie, PPE, UK Section of CEEP
- The 1998 Commission decision and the development of sectoral social dialogue: Uwe Petzhold, EFBWW and Dominique Bailly, Posteurop

• Session 4: How the consultation phase enriches EU social policy

- Chair: Andrew Chapman, Commission; Liliane Volozinskis, Social Affairs Director, UEAPME; Barbara Surdykowska, Solidarnosc; and Madeleine Reid, Commission

• Session 5: Challenges of implementation of autonomous agreements (three examples)

- Chair: Francois Ziegler, Commission; on stress: Henrik Schilder, local government Denmark, CEEP and Maria Helena Andre, ETUC; on telework: Elena Crasta, ETUC and Edyta Doboszynska, ZRP Poland, UEAPME; and on crystalline silica: Andrea Husen, EMF and Michelle Wyart-Remy, co-chair of Nepsi

b.) Friday 25th November
• Session 6: Implementation of agreements by Directive – Social partners' experience

- Chair: Francois Ziegler, Commission; cross-industry example on parental leave: Andrée Debrulle, ETUC and Anu Sajavaara, EK Finland, BusinessEurope; sectoral example on sharps injuries: Matthias Maucher, EPSU and Godfrey Pereira, Secretary General, Hospeem

• Session 7: Implementation of agreements by Directive – challenges and prospects for member states and social partners: Patrick Itschert ETUC; Jørgen Rønnest, Chairman of BusinessEurope’s Social Affairs Committee; and Elisabeth Schroedter, MEP 
• Session 8: European Social dialogue – prospects for the development of the consultation and negotiation dimensions of social dialogue: Bernadette Ségol, ETUC; Philippe de Buck, BusinessEurope; Andrea Benassi, UEAPME and Ralf Resch, CEEP
• Session 9: Closing of Jean-Paul Tricart, Commission; and Radoslaw Mlecko, Deputy Minister for Employment and Social Affairs of Poland

12/12/2011 - Thematic Liaison Forum on the “Capacity Building” of national and European social partners, at the European Commission, DG EMPL

The “Liaison Forum”, which is organised several times per year by DG EMPL, offers a regular platform of information, discussion and exchanges of experience on subjects of interest for EU social partners’ representatives. The following subjects were presented and discussed during this thematic event:
• European social dialogue and “capacity building”: Jean-Paul Tricart, Head of Unit for Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations, DG EMPL; and Peter Kerckhofs, Eurofound, research activity on social dialogue capacity building in the new Member States
• Promoting capacity building of social partners in new Member States - sectoral and pluri-sectoral approaches (chair: Norbert Schöbel, Head of Sector, DG EMPL, Unit B1)

- Overview of projects financed on capacity-building under the budget lines related to "industrial relations and social dialogue" and "information and training measures for workers' organisations", by Nadia Elhaggagi, DG EMPL 
- Presentations of the following sectors:
- Agency work industry: Michael Freytag (Eurociett)
- Commerce: Ilaria Savoini (Eurocommerce) and Novka Piljic (GPA-DPJ, Austria)
- Cleaning sector: Irena Pálková (IPmanagering, Czech Republic) and Tibor Ritz (MATISZ, Hungary)
- Local and regional governments: Christine Jakob (EPSU) and Christina Dziewanska-Stringer (CEMR)
- Live performance sector: Anita Debaere (Pearle) and Thomas Dayan (EAEA)
- Metal: Mina Vukojicic (EMF)
- International training centre, ILO (programme for workers' activities): Evelin Toth Mucciacciaro (ACTRAV, ITC-ILO)

• Overview of projects funded on capacity building at national level co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), by Dominique Bé, Deputy Head of Unit, DG EMPL
• Final round-table discussion:  Jean-Paul Tricart, Commission; Professor Stijn Smismans (Cardiff Law School) on the academic literature on capacity building; Juliane Bir, ETUC; and Guillaume Cravero, BusinessEurope

19/01/2012 - European Business Services Round Table at the CEN premises

The aim of EBSRT is to develop a common platform for business-related services on issues of mutual interest. It gathers representatives of associations involved in the services sector across Europe. The following subjects were presented and discussed at the premises of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN):

- EU research and innovation: Domenico Rossetti di Valdalbero (European Commission, DG Research and Innovation)
- Standardisation in services: Petros Mamalis (European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry)
- CEN update: Andreea Gulacsi (CEN project manager)
- The FUSSLEARN project on e-learning: Norman Rose (Chairman of EBSRT)

20/01/2012 - European Employers’ Network (EEN) at BusinessEurope

The EEN, which is organised several times per year by BusinessEurope, offers a regular platform of information, discussion and exchanges of experience on issues of concern for European employers associations’ representatives. The following subjects were discussed:

- Tripartite Social Summit on 1 March 2012: discussion on the main messages to be brought forward and designation of the EEN member to be included in the BusinessEurope delegation
- Posting of Workers/Monti II: exchange of information on ongoing lobby activities
- Restructuring: exchange of information on “Green paper on restructuring and economic adjustment” (published by the European Commission on 17 January 2012)
- Activities in the cross-industry social dialogue: working time and social dialogue work programme
- Activities in the sectoral social dialogue: exchange of information on the basis of the monitor report and ongoing social impact assessments
- Update on other social affairs dossiers: youth opportunities initiative; temporary agency work; women in decision making; pensions; CSR; and Professional Qualifications Directive

23/01/2012 - Liaison Forum at the European Commission DG EMPL

The “Liaison Forum”, which is organised several times per year by DG EMPL, offers a regular platform of information, discussion and exchanges of experience on subjects of interest for EU social partners’ representatives. The following subjects were presented and discussed:

- Minutes of the thematic Liaison Forum on the "Capacity Building" of National and European Social Partners of 12th December 2011
- Introduction: recent and forthcoming developments for EU social dialogue & industrial relations – Jean-Paul Tricart, DG EMPL, Head of Unit for "Social Dialogue, Industrial Relations"
- ESF support of social partners' capacity building: feedback from EU social partners on good practice cases (follow-up to the last thematic Liaison Forum held on 12 December 2011)
- Modernising European public procurement to support growth and employment - presentation of the Commission's legislative proposal to reform the EU public procurement directives', by Elena Puiu, legal and policy officer, DG Internal Market and Services, Public procurement policy
- Representativeness studies: state of play for 2012
- Presentation of the final report on Trade and Labour: Making effective use of trade sustainability impact by Mr. Steve Gibbons, Director of Ergon
- Preparation of the next thematic Liaison Forum on skills and jobs (including Sectoral Skills Councils) to be held on 21 May 2012