November 2013 - February 2014
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’. During this meeting, the following subjects were discussed:
§ Tripartite Social Summit on 20 March 2014: information on theme and designation of the EEN member to be included in the BusinessEurope delegation
§ Future of EU social dialogue: conference of EU cross-industry social partners on 11-12 December; debate on Commission’s recent and planned activities; exchange of views on respective positions
§ Activities in the cross-industry social dialogue: in-depth employment analysis
§ Activities in the sectoral social dialogue: exchange of views; ongoing social impact assessments
§ Update on social affairs dossiers: quality framework on restructuring; posting of workers; temporary agency work; quality framework on traineeships; apprenticeships; corporate social responsibility; EU Health and Safety policy framework
29/01/2014 - Podcast on the future challenges of the Swedish cleaning sector organised by the global hygiene company SCA in Stockholm
The Director was invited by SCA to discuss the future challenges in the European cleaning industry. During the meeting, the following industry trends were discussed:
· Increased professionalism and consolidation: Increased competition creates pressure to cut costs while maintaining the same quality level. Therefore, cleaning actors have to increase efficiency and particularly larger companies have to offer facility management and other support services.
· Staff retention and social sustainability: The challenges of high sick leave and staff turnover have raised the issue of improving cleaners’ work situation. It involves initiatives on wages, working hours, education, ergonomics, stress, status of cleaning, health and wellbeing of staff.
· Environmental sustainability: Reductions of energy consumption, water usage and carbon footprint are possible via green cleaning practices, innovation and daytime cleaning. Increased importance of sustainability certifications is noticed not only for new buildings, but also for the existing ones.
· Increasing usage and efficient management of technology: Increased availability of complex data and technology used as management tools can help to plan and optimise processes for increased efficiency and quality.
· Changing work styles: Changing work styles significantly affect both the occupant behavior and the vacancy rate of buildings, which affects how buildings must operate.
17/01/2014 - Second working group meeting for the OiRA tool in the new premises of the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work (EU-OSHA) in Bilbao
Jointly organised by UNI-Europa and the EFCI with the support of EU-OSHA, the meeting was dedicated to the following issues:
· Introductions and purpose of the meeting by EU-OSHA representatives
· Update/overview on the second structure proposal of the OiRA tool for the cleaning sector by Lieven Eeckelaert from the Belgian research institute Prevent
· Overall discussion on the second structure proposal between participants
· Dates and venues for the next working group meeting
11/12/2013 - Thematic Liaison Forum entitled "15 Years of EU Sectoral Social Dialogue – Quo Vadis?", at DG EMPL
03/12/2013 - Business breakfast organised by the European Builders Confederation (EBC) at the European Parliament: “Construction SMEs as the driver of sustainable economic growth in Europe”
Founded in 1990, the EBC is the European organisation representing national associations of Craftsmen and SME’s working in the construction sector. The construction sector represents 10% of the EU GDP with SME’s producing 80% of the output.
This event hosted by German MEP Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE), aimed to highlight construction SME’s requests and suggestions to the next European Parliament after the May 2014 elections. Mr. Creutzmann firstly resumed what has been done during the actual legislature in order to improve the SME’s business environment and highlighted the Late Payment Directive (entered into force in March 2013) as well as the reform of EU rules on public procurement. Then, Riccardo Viaggi (EBC Secretary General) presented the EBC Manifesto for next years by resuming the 6 priorities for construction SME’s. Finally, Maarit Nyman (Deputy Head of Unit at DG ENTR) briefly presented what the Commission aims to propose in the coming months for SME’s, especially a green action plan to improve their access to green markets (see the Secretariat note of 21st November 2013).