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May - September 2011

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10/05/2011 - 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):

  • CEN activities and update: presentation by Maitane Olabarria Uzquiano, Programme Manager on standards and quality of life at the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
  • Latest developments for the services sector: presentation by Peter Smith, European Commission, DG Internal Market
  • Services and industrial policy: presentation by Isabel Grilo, European Commission, DG Economic and Financial affairs
  • Agency work business indicator: presentation by Michael Freytag, European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett)

17/05/2011 - 18/05/2011 - StandarDays at the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)

The aim of the StandarDays is to provide to participants the tools to understand the functioning of standardisation at EU level. Presentations were mainly made by managers working at the CEN.

a.)   17th May: Introducing European Standardization

The following subjects were presented and discussed:

  • Everything you always wanted to know about standardization but were afraid to ask
  • Standards matter – Bird's eye view of the European standardisation system
  • Why and how to get involved in standardisation – different solutions for different needs
  • How to get started: Part 1 - Developing a European Standard - The process
  • How to get started: Part 2 - Developing a Workshop Agreement
  • Looking to the future: Standardisation and innovation, research & development, education, SMEs
  • Accommodating societal needs in standardisation: access, sustainability, energy
  • Final round-up quiz and evaluation

b.)   18th May: For a better understanding of European Standards

The following subjects were presented and discussed:

  •  The Keymark –  A single mark for a single market
  • European standardisation and benefits to your business – Different solutions for different needs
  • How legislation and standardisation work hand in hand - New Legislative framework

19/05/2011 - “Extraordinary Liaison Forum” on the contribution and potential of European social dialogue to improving health and safety at work, 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 partner representatives. The following subjects were presented and discussed

Welcome and introduction:

  • Jean-Paul Tricart, Head of Unit for Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations, DG EMPL, European Commission
  • Mr Costas Constantinou, Head of Unit for Health, Safety and Hygiene at

This meeting was divided in two sessions, during which the following subjects were presented and discussed:Work, DG EMPL, European Commission

Session 1: Social partner initiatives to improve risk assessment promote risk prevention and reduce accidents

  • Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the healthcare sector
  • Multi-sectoral agreement on workers’ health protection through the good handling and use of crystalline silica and products containing it
  • Occupational diseases and health protection in the European hairdressing sector
  • Handbook for accident prevention at sea and safety of fishermen
  • Guide for developing a health and safety management system in the construction sector
  • Social partner contributions to the development and adaptation of online interactive risk assessment tools

 Session 2: Promoting mental health and well-being at work

  • Implementation of the social partners' framework agreement on work-related stress
  • Multi-sectoral guidelines on third-party violence and harassment at work
  • Good work, good health: mental health and well-being in the telecommunications
  • Work-related stress, working conditions and social dialogue in the EU
  • Outcomes of the conference on the European Pact for mental health and well-being  

20/06/2011 - 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:

  • Working time: discussion on latest developments and next steps regarding the revision of the working time directive
  • Precarious work: presentation of the inputs received so far from EEN members and discussion on the next stages of EU employers’ work on flexible forms of employment
  • Single Market Act:
  • Exchange of views on social aspects of Single Market Act
  • EU employers’ participation in Commission conference on “fundamental social rights and the posting of workers in the framework of the single market” 27-28 June 2011
  •  Activities in the cross-industry social dialogue: Joint projects on climate change, flexicurity and social dialogue
  • Activities in the sectoral social dialogue
  • Exchange of information on the basis of the monitor report
  • Ongoing social impact assessments
  • Update on other social affairs dossiers:
  • BusinessEurope publications on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills and labour market reforms;
  • Restructuring;
  • Corporate Social Responsibility;
  • Pregnant workers;

24/06/2011 - European social dialogue Committee meeting on industrial cleaning

Jointly organised by UNI Europa and the EFCI, this meeting was dedicated to the following issues:

  • Presentation by the Dutch EFCI President Hans Simons on the jointly created committee by Dutch employers and trade unions regarding the negotiations with major industry’ clients, intermediaries/advisors and facilities management representatives on the establishment of a “Code Good Client” – with the aim to promote fair competition and transparency in public and private contracts through the commitment of “good behaviour”, especially of clients but as well of employers, employees/unions and the other stakeholders
  • Presentation on the initiative of Fit for Work Europe regarding musculoskeletal disorders (MSD’s) in the workplace by Neha Dave, from the Fit for Work Europe coalition based in Brussels
  • Presentation of concrete actions by John Church from the Irish national Fit for Work Initiative as well as questions and discussion regarding a closer collaboration between the Fit for Work Europe coalition and the European social dialogue committee of the cleaning industry
  • Follow-up on the on-going representativeness study for DG Employment carried out by the European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions (Eurofound): Information by Andreas Lill on the state of play regarding EFCI’s and UNI Europa’s members’ involvement

27/06/2011 - 28/06/2011 - Conference on Fundamental social rights and the Posting of Workers in the framework of the Single Market

The Commission has hold a two-day conference aimed at discussing with stakeholders the exercise of fundamental social rights in cross-border situations, the implementation of the Posting of Workers Directive and the future actions and priorities in this area.

a.)   Monday 27th June:

  • László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
  • Radosław Mleczko, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Republic of Poland
  • Andreas Storm, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Prof. Mario Monti, President of Bocconi University, Italy
  • Panel: Reconciliation between fundamental social rights and economic freedoms:
  • Chair: Armindo Silva, Director, DG EMPL, European Commission
  • Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Roberto Suarez, Vice Chairman, BusinessEurope Social Affairs Committee, Confederation of Spanish Employers, Spain
  • Monika Schlachter, Vice-president, European Committee of Social Rights, Council of Europe
  • Karen Curtis, Deputy Director, International Labor Standards Department, ILO

b.)   Tuesday 28th June

  • Presentation of Studies and Workshops
  • Chair and Introduction: Armindo Silva, Director, DG EMPL, European Commission
  • Implementation and application of the Posting of Workers Directive: Presentation of a comparative legal study
  • Economic and social effects associated with posting of workers: Presentation of a study on the economic and social effects
  • How to improve cooperation and enforcement: Feasibility study on establishing a European platform to prevent and fight undeclared work: aspects related to cross border dimension and posting of workers
  • Workshop I: Posting of workers – regulatory options
  • Workshop II (assisted): Social and economic impact of posting of workers in Europe
  • Workshop III: Administrative cooperation
  • Workshop IV: Effectiveness and enforcement of legislation
  • Summary conclusions from each workshop
  • Roundtable: Future action and priorities
  • Chair: Koos Richelle, Director-General, DG EMPL, European Commission
  • Inger Støjberg, Minister for Employment, Denmark
  • Pervenche Berès, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament
  • Edith Bauer, member of Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament
  • Philippe De Buck, Director General, BusinessEurope
  • Patrick Itschert, Deputy Secretary General, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Closing: Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services

30/06/2011 - Conference on the modernisation of EU public procurement policy towards a more efficient European procurement market

The Commission has hold a conference aimed at discussing with stakeholders the future orientations for the modernisation of the EU legislative framework for public procurement. The Commission presented the results of the ex-post evaluation of the existing legislation and the public consultation via the Green Paper launched in January 2011 (the EFCI submitted its position paper on 18th April 2011). The conference was divided in 3 panels as follows:

  • Welcome and introduction: Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services  
  • Keynote Speech: Maxime Verhagen, Deputy Prime Minister, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation
  • Panel I: Simplification of procurement procedures and better access to markets – squaring the circle?
  • Panel II: Strategic use of public procurement in support of other policies
  • The Reform: a view from the European Parliament: Malcolm Harbour, Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee
  • Views from a future Council Presidency: Michael Dithmer, Permanent Secretary of State, Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs
  • Panel III: The future of public procurement - New challenges, new tools, key priorities for the legislative proposal
  • Conclusions: Jonathan Faull, Director General, Internal Market and Services, European Commission

14/09/2011 - Meeting with representatives of ABSU-UGBN, FEP and the European Commission regarding the “LIFE plus project” at the EFCI premises

Next to the EFCI, representatives from ABSU-UGBN (Steven de Cleer) and from FEP (Stéphanie Hirtz) and the person in charge of the monitoring of the “LIFE plus project” on behalf of the Commission (Capucine Dubois from the French company Astrale GEIE / Oréade-Brèche) attended the meeting. The purpose was to monitor and to assess the state of advancement at mid-term of this project co-financed by the Commission and wherein five EFCI member associations are involved (Belgian, English, French, Italian and German). Special focus was put on the measures taken until now as well as the action plan developed by the Belgian association (ABSU-UGBN) in the frame of this European project.

19/09/2011 - Meeting with representatives of the World Federation of Building Service Contractors (WFBSC) and the ABSU-UGBN President Yvan Fieremans at the EFCI premises

The WFBSC is an organisation gathering national and international associations, manufacturers and suppliers of the cleaning industry from around the globe. The main goal of the World Federation is to address and solve problems of common interest, exchange new ideas and techniques, and promote the industry. Next to the EFCI, a Brazilian delegation of the WFBSC lead by its President Adonai Aires de Arruda and the President of the Belgian association (Yvan Firemans) attended the meeting. This gathering was mainly dedicated to exchange views on crucial issues for the cleaning sector at worldwide level and to present the WFBSC activities, in particular the next WFBSC congress which will take place in the Brazilian city of Curitiba between the 10th and the 14th October 2012.  The aim was to make emerge an eventual collaboration between the Belgian association (ABSU-UGBN) and the WFBSC.