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February - June 2014

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28/04/2014 - Commission high-level conference on working conditions, organised by DG EMPL

The Commission organised this conference to reflect on the results obtained from the survey on working conditions in the EU and on the way forward. As the financial and economic crisis increased the pressure on employment and working conditions, the Commission estimates that protecting and improving the quality of work are needed to produce more inclusive growth. The meeting had two main goals: to disseminate and obtain feedback from key stakeholders on upcoming initiatives and/or recent policy evaluations by the Commission; and to engage stakeholders in an open public debate about future Commission’s priorities in the field of working conditions.

The conference was organised around the following five main questions: 1.) Occupational health and safety: how to maintain a high level of protection? 2.) Anticipation and management of restructuring: what concretely works? 3.) Reconciliation of work and private life: how to succeed in meeting this expectation in the best conditions for all? 4.) Working conditions of trainees: how to make a traineeship a fair and rewarding experience? 5.) Decent working conditions outside the EU: how can we help our partners?

08/04/2014 - Final meeting of the High Level Group (HLG) on business services, at DG ENTR

This meeting served to discuss on the final report of the HLG on business services that was officially published the day after by DG Enterprise and Industry. This document contains concrete policy recommendations aiming to define adequate future EU policies for business services, especially towards the next European Commission that will take office from November 2014 (see in this regard, the Secretariat note of 14th April 2014).

While business services are now recognised as an integrated part of the industrial value chains and are finally recognised as being essential for European competitiveness and a strong Single Market, the main objective of the meeting was to discuss the way forward, especially on how to promote and implement the HLG recommendations. After the meeting, the Director attended a dinner with European Commissioner Antonio Tajani (DG ENTR) and personalities from politics, business and academia.


08/04/2014 - Launch of the campaign “Healthy Workplaces Manage Stress” by the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work (OSHA)

Since 2006, OSHA has run several European campaigns to promote health and safety at work. This meeting aimed to launch the new Healthy Workplaces Campaign of OSHA for the years 2014-2015. According to a recent OSHA study, 51 % of workers find work-related stress to be common in their workplace and 40% of workers consider that stress is not handled well in their organisation. Based on EU social partners’ and experts’ contributions, the new Official Campaign Partnership Offer was presented to discuss with participants how they can get involved in the campaign and effectively manage stress and psychosocial risks at work. This EU campaign seeks to show how psychosocial risks can be handled in the same systematic way as any other occupational risks. It also aims to promote the use of simple tools, which can help organisations to effectively manage these risks and highlight the positive effects of doing so. It invites all organisations and individuals at local, national and European level to join. Interested members can find all details of the Campaign via this link: https://www.healthy-workplaces.eu/en/get-involved/become-an-official-campaign-partner

26/03/2014 - European social dialogue Committee meeting on industrial cleaning

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

§  Report by Lieven Eeckelaert from Prevent and Michaela Seifert from the European agency OSHA on the development of the OiRA tool for the sector, developed by social partners with OSHA

§  European Commission 2nd stage consultation of social partners on enhancing EU cooperation in the prevention and deterrence of undeclared work: joint position by social partners

§  Joint letter of UNI Europa and Coiffure EU on the hairdressing agreement on occupational health and safety: discussion by participants

§  UNI Europa presentation of the “Cleaners’ Charter”: discussion by participants

§  EU legislative proposals and EFCI/UNI Europa lobbying activities: a.) Proposal for an enforcement directive on the Posting of Workers’ Directive: discussion by participants; b.) Revision of the EU directive on public procurement: report on the plenary vote of adoption at the EP on 16 January

25/03/2014 - third 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 third structure proposal by Lieven Eeckelaert from Prevent: discussion among participants, especially regarding the draft module on “window cleaning”

·       General discussion between participants on the pending issues

·       Date and venues for the fourth and last working group meeting: 29th April 2014 in Brussels

This third joint meeting was very successful, given that all the remaining issues of disagreement were solved. This allowed to finalise the OiRA tool in time and to present a final version to be adopted on 6 June during the next European social dialogue Committee meeting.



19/03/2014 - Commission conference on the new European rules for procurement and concessions, organised by DG Internal Market and Services (MARKT)

This conference aimed to discuss the new EU rules on public procurement and concessions that were adopted by the Parliament on 16 January 2014 (see the Secretariat notes of 13th February and 16th April 2014). The Director attended two specific sessions on the main issues of interest for the cleaning industry. The first panel entitled “Simplification and SMEs” allowed several speakers to express their view on this aspect of the reform, in particular Jurgen Creutzmann (German MEP), Riccardo Viaggi (Secretary General of the European Builders Confederation) and Gian Luigi Albano (Head of Research, Consip S.p.A., Italian central purchasing body). The second panel was entitled “Social & Green” with the following discussants: MEP Marc Tarabella (EP rapporteur on public procurement file), MEP Heide Ruehle, Veronica Nilsson (European Trade Union Confederation) and Arnhild Dordi Gjønnes (BusinessEurope).


10/03/2014 - Lunch debate entitled "For a European industrial renaissance" organised by DG Employment, Social affairs and Inclusion (EMPL) in the frame of the Liaison Forum

The “Liaison Forum” is organised several times per year by DG EMPL and offers a regular platform of information and discussion on questions of interest for European social partners’ representatives. Following discussions with social partners at EU level in last months, the Commission has decided to adapt the format of its “Liaison Forum” meetings in order to improve their efficiency in terms of content and added-value for stakeholders. As a consequence, the Liaison Forum meetings will mainly take the form of lunchtime debate of 2 hours. After the publication in January 2014 of its communication "For a European industrial renaissance", the Commission organised this meeting to discuss this issue with EU social partners. The debate was dedicated to the following subjects: ·       “For a European industrial renaissance”: Francisco Caballero Sanz (DG Enterprises and Industry) ·       The role of social dialogue in industrial policies: presentation of the main results of the new European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO) study by Stavroula Demetriades (Eurofound) ·       Reactions from EU social partners: Sylvain Lefebvre (IndustriALL) and Uwe Combüchen (Council of the European Employers of the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based Industries (CEEMET)
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