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February - June 2014

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18/06/2014 - Social partners’ lunch debate entitled “Wage-setting mechanisms in the EU: towards further decentralisation and ‘marketisation?” organised by Eurofound

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) organised this event to discuss with social partners the wage-settings mechanisms developments in the framework of the recent crisis and the EU’s new economic governance regime. The discussion focused in particular on an upcoming Eurofound report concerning some major trends on policies and approaches at national or sectoral level, on different wage bargaining regimes and links between different levels involved in it. Erika Mezger (Eurofound Deputy Director) and Christian Welz (Eurofound Research manager) presented an overview of the Member States’ different dimensions of wage setting, such as main wage bargaining level(s), horizontal coordination across bargaining units, extension procedures and those stipulating continuation of agreements beyond expiry, minimum wage setting and indexation mechanisms, volume and duration of collective wage agreements etc. They also highlighted some elements of the EU level current debate on the issue. Afterwards, an open debate took place between various EU social partners’ representatives, especially Patrick Itschert (Deputy General Secretary, ETUC) and Maxime Cerutti (Social Affairs’ Director, BusinessEurope).

11/06/2014 - European Business Services Round Table (EBSRT) at the premises of the International Confederation of Private Employment Services (CIETT)

The aim of EBSRT is to develop a common platform for business-related services on issues of mutual interest. It gathers representatives of services sector associations across Europe. The following subjects were presented and discussed:

·       The role of private employment services to growth-jobs: Denis Pennel (Managing Director, CIETT)

·       High Level Group on business services, its recommendations and follow-up: Norman Rose (Chair of the EBSRT and Vice-Chair of the High Level Group)

·       EU Horizontal service standards: Maitane Olabarria (European Committee for Standardisation – CEN)

·       The future role of EBSRT: Paper from Chair for consideration

06/06/2014 - European social dialogue Committee meeting on industrial

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

§  Report by Ellen Schmitz-Felten from the German research institute KOOP and by Michaela Seifert from the EU agency OSHA on the development of the OiRA tool at European level and potential national OiRA tools to be developed in the future by national social partners

§  Validation of the European OiRA tool for the cleaning industry by European social partners

§  Presentation by a Commission representative on the recent Commission proposal to create a European platform to fight against undeclared work: discussion by participants; presentation by the Italian EFCI members FISE-ANIP and Legacoop on undeclared work

§  EU legislative proposals and EFCI/UNI Europa lobbying activities: Eventual joint statement by social partners on the modernised directive on public procurement; Proposal for an enforcement directive of the Posting of Workers’ Directive: report on the plenary vote of adoption at the Parliament on 16 April 2014

27/05/2014 - European seminar entitled “Better services: how can European standards help?” organised by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN)

The Services Directive 2006/123/EC contains measures to encourage the Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, to develop future policies on the quality of services. One of these measures is the development of voluntary EU standards to ease compatibility/comparability between services supplied by providers in different European countries, as well as facilitating information to the recipient and the quality of service provision. In this context, the Commission and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have funded a project (M/517 EN) that is studying to what extent the development of new Horizontal European Standards for services could contribute to complete the Single Market. The final goal is to operate more effectively and efficiently within the Single Market for services. The project is managed by the national standardisation bodies of six EU countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the UK), in collaboration with CEN and DG MARKT (see the Secretariat note of 19th May 2014). As part of the project, this seminar was organised to gather the views of EU stakeholders that play a role in the provision or use of services in Europe. It focused on identifying opportunities for the development of EU horizontal service standards that could help interested sectors, together with other service providers and users.

19/05/2014 - Lunch debate concerning the Commission proposal to establish a new European platform on undeclared work, organised by DG EMPL in the frame of the Liaison Forum

The “Liaison Forum”, which is organised several times per year by DG EMPL, offers a regular platform of information and discussion on questions of interest for European social partners’ representatives. During the meeting, Muriel Guin (Head of Unit on Labour Law in DG EMPL) presented the Commission proposal aiming to create a European Platform to enhance cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work (see in this regard, the Secretariat note of 25th April 2014). After this overview, the European social partners of the cleaning industry presented their views expressed in their joint position submitted to the Commission on 12 March 2014. At this occasion, Andreas Lill (and Anna Harvey from UNI-Europa) welcomed the Commission proposal to establish a European platform and stressed the need for the cleaning industry to be amongst those sectors that will have an observer status within the platform. Finally, an interesting open debate took place between several EU social partners’ representatives, especially on the criteria for the selection of the 10 sectoral social partners to be granted observer status.

06/05/2014 - Trade show for cleaning professionals – ISSA/Interclean in Amsterdam

Since its first edition in 1967, this international show has developed itself to become the most important fair of the cleaning industry in Europe. Organised each two years, this event gathers various professionals of the cleaning sector: representatives of cleaning companies, the leading manufacturers, distributors and key decision makers in the areas of industry, commerce, health, institutional sector, education, etc. At the occasion of its 25th edition that took place from 6th to 9th May, which attracted visitors from more 130 countries, the Director visited the exhibition and attended the ‘Meeting of Associations’ that was organised by ISSA.  

29/04/2014 - fourth joint working group meeting of the European social partners to develop an Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tool for the cleaning industry

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

·       Presentation of the updated fourth structure proposal by Lieven Eeckelaert from the Belgian institute Prevent: discussion among participants

·       General discussion chaired by Lorenzo Munar from the European agency OSHA on the final content of the OiRA tool and on the question of photographs without copyright to be included in order to illustrate the main professional risks and adequate solutions

·       Next steps: discussion between participants on the way to disseminate the tool at national level and to engage national social partners developing OiRA tools in their countries

During this last working group meeting participants managed to agree on the final version of the OiRA tool. As foreseen in the time-table of the project launched in June 2013, the OiRA tool will then be validated on 6 June at the next European social dialogue Committee meeting.

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