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October 2014 - March 2015

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05/03/2015 - High Level Conference entitled “A new start for Social Dialogue”

On 31 January 1985, the Commission launched the formal cooperation with European social partners at Val Duchesse (Belgium) with the aim to involve the European social partners in the internal market process. Three decades later, to give a new impetus to social dialogue at EU level and to contribute to a competitive and fair economic recovery, the European Commission held a high level event on the 5th of March with leaders of European and national employers' and workers' organisations. Indeed, the Commission wishes to ensure a more substantial involvement of social partners in EU governance, in EU policy making, and to support the functioning of industrial relations and social dialogue in the Member States. It considers that a well-working social dialogue at all levels is a prerequisite for the well-functioning of the EU social market economy that promotes competitiveness and fairness. During the event, the Commission President as well as 5 Commissioners addressed the audience, in particular the Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis (responsible for the Euro and Social dialogue), Marianne Thyssen (Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour mobility) as well as Pierre Moscovici (Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs). After introductory remarks by representatives of the Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council, and by leaders of EU cross-industry social partners’ orgnisations (ETUC, BusinessEurope, CEEP and UEAPME), the following subjects were tackled in dedicated workshops: §  Improving social partners’ involvement in the European Semester §  Strengthening industrial relations and capacity building at national level §  The EU macro-economic strategy and the need for investing in growth and quality jobs §  Exploiting the full potential of the digital single market §  Social dialogue and better regulation §  Skills, education and training needs in anticipation of a changing working environment The conference was closed by concluding remarks of the Commission President.

24/02/2015 - European Employers’ Network (EEN) at BusinessEurope

Organised by BusinessEurope, this meeting served to discuss the following issues:

·       Tripartite Social Summit on 19 March: Information on the theme

·       Commission high level event regarding the future of EU social dialogue on 5 March

·       Mobility: Exchange of views concerning the Commission plan to publish a Labour Mobility Package

·       Activities in cross-industry social dialogue: In-depth employment analysis and negotiations on the autonomous work programme

·       Activities in sectoral social dialogue: Exchange of information / ongoing social impact assessments

·       Update on social affairs dossiers: Working time; Evaluation of EU OSH Directives; CSR; Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP); Undeclared work; Pregnant workers

24/02/2015 - EESC conference regarding "The future of European Social Dialogue"

Organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), this event gathered all concerned actors in order to discuss the following issues which are closely related to social dialogue:

·         The role of social partners in EU economic and political governance;

·         The enabling conditions for a well-functioning social dialogue, and how can the EU contribute to creating such conditions?;

·         How to improve the structure and especially the content and substance of the EU Social Dialogue;  

·         Broadening the coverage of collective bargaining;

·         Efficiency of transnational collective bargaining;

·         European social dialogue's contribution to globalisation with a human dimension;

The synergies between social and civil dialogue

09/02/2015 - Conference on “Buying services everywhere in the Single Market”

Organised by DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME’s, this event gathered stakeholders (representatives of consumers, service providers and competent authorities) to discuss the non-discrimination principle (Article 20.2 of the Services Directive).

The goal was to exchange opinions from a legal and economic viewpoint, on the non-discrimination principle and challenges inherent in its application. The Commission aims to deliver a Strategy to improve the functioning of the Single Market for goods and services in the autumn of 2015.

09/02/2015 - European social dialogue Committee meeting on industrial cleaning

Jointly organised by UNI Europa and the EFCI, this meeting was devoted to these issues:

§ Adoption of the work programme 2015-2016

§ Planned update of the “Best Value Guide” for the cleaning industry: State of play and future needs in view of the envisaged joint project

§ Daytime cleaning: discussion on further joint initiatives

§ UNI Europa presentation regarding the transposition of the new EU Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement in several Member States

§ EFCI/UNI Europa lobbying activities about the Commission proposal for a European Platform on undeclared work: Presentation of UNI Europa/EFCI joint position of 28th November 2014 by Anna Harvey and Andreas Lill; Report by the Director on the state of play of the procedure

§ Statistical survey 2014 (data 2012): Report by the Director on the main results

27/01/2015 - European Employers’ Network (EEN) breakfast meeting 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 interest for European employers’ associations.

During the breakfast meeting, the following 4 subjects were discussed: 1) General 2015 outlook focusing on the employment and social aspects of the Commission 2015 work programme; 2) Specific discussion on the ongoing public consultation on the Working Time Directive; 3) High-level event on social dialogue in March; 4) Exchange of information on respective social dialogue activities.

22/01/2015 - “Liaison Forum” meeting on the social dialogue in Europe, at DG EMPL

The meeting aimed to discuss the potential contribution of European social partners to strengthen the overall social dialogue in the EU. Firstly, the new Head of Unit B1 within DG EMPL (Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations) – Mr David Pascal Dion replacing Jean-Paul Tricart since the 1st January 2015) – announced that a conference on the relaunch of social dialogue will be held on 5 March in Brussels. Secondly, a Commission official presented recent statistics on the EU-funded projects concerning Social dialogue, Industrial relations and Workers’ organisation over the last 8 years.

09/12/2014 - Seminar concerning the ongoing Commission evaluation of the 24 Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) EU Directives

On 6 June 2014, the Commission published its new EU Strategic framework on OSH for the period 2014-2020 (see the Secretariat note of 10th July 2014). In this context, the Commission is currently assessing the 24 OSH Directives (Framework Directive 89/391/EEC of 12th June 1989 to encourage improvements in the Safety and Health of Workers at Work, and the 23 related Directives).

The European social partners are involved in this ongoing assessment and the Director attended this seminar organised by DG EMPL. He participated in these 3 following workshops: “Do the Directives work as intended?”, “Maintaining the relevance of the Directives”, “Challenges in implementation of OSH legislation - enforcement and SME’s”. As announced it its 2015 work programme, the Commission aims to publish the final results of this evaluation at the end of 2015.

04/12/2014 - Meeting with the Bulgarian MEP Rapporteur Georgi Pirinski to exchange views about the Commission proposal for an EU platform on undeclared work

Andreas Lill met the Rapporteur to discuss his draft report of 11th November and influence his legislative work for the final EMPL-Committee report.

The Director stressed the EFCI’s interest to obtain an observer status in order to be able attending the Platform meetings, and presented the various joint statements and tools elaborated by the cleaning industry’ social partners over the last 15 years. He then proposed to reduce the number of cross-industry social partners to a maximum of 6 and increase the number of sectoral social partners (see the Secretariat note of 15th December 2014).

The Rapporteur appreciated this information and showed his openness to the suggestions made in the position paper on clear procedures to determine how the selection of the sectors is carried out.

03/12/2014 - Eurociett lunch debate “How can we turn undeclared work into regular jobs?”

Organised by the European Confederation of Private Employment Services (Eurociett), this lunch debate aimed to discuss the key challenges surrounding undeclared work.

After having published in November his draft report about the Commission proposal for an EU Platform on undeclared work, the Rapporteur Georgi Pirinski presented his views on this file debated at the Parliament and Council. Then, the Eurociett President Annemarie Muntz opened a debate on the implications of undeclared work for the labour market, society and governments.

02/12/2014 - Annual information day of the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE) in Brussels

AISE focused its annual meeting on the benefits of the Industrial & Institutional (I&I) cleaning sector, which represent almost 20% of the value of the sector in Europe (about 6.5 billion € turnover yearly). The Director was invited to present his view on the theme “Hygiene in offices and public places”. The information day was also devoted to the following issues:

Overview of 2014 AISE activities towards product safety, innovation and sustainability; Need for cleanliness/hygiene in public places, for the health of citizens; Broad variety of applications for professional cleaning: Hygiene in hospitals / Hygiene in food & beverage applications / Hygiene in laundry technique / Hygiene in offices and public places; the complementarity innovation & sustainability: a test for the industry and public authorities; Innovation, regulations & sustainability: challenges / opportunities for I&I companies and their customers.

01/12/2014 - “Liaison Forum” lunch debate concerning the social dialogue in Europe

The “Liaison Forum” offers a platform of information and exchanges of experience on subjects of interest for EU social partners’ representatives. The meeting aimed to discuss the challenges and prospects related to social dialogue in the context of the new European Commission (2014-2019).

24/11/2014 - Conference on social partners’ initiatives improving social rights at sectoral level

The final conference of the international research project BARSORIS (Bargaining for Social Rights at Sector Level) aimed to discuss the challenges faced by social partners in improving the quality of work through sectoral social dialogue actions. The Director was invited to present his view on the theme “Opportunities, barriers and positive outcomes of EU sectoral social dialogue”.

Afterwards, a study comparing 7 EU countries (Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK) was presented to highlight the social partners’ experiences in improving the social rights of non-standard/vulnerable workers via collective bargaining and social dialogue. The findings from national reports focused on 4 sectors: industrial cleaning, hospitals, construction, and temporary agency work.

 

17/11/2014 - European seminar entitled “Towards Social ID cards in the construction industry?”

Jointly organised by the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) and its trade union counterpart EFBWW (the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers), the seminar served to present the results of this project aiming to assess the eventual elaboration of a European social Identity card for construction workers.

The meeting was devoted to these issues: Overall presentation of the project findings and overview of the country reports, Social ID cards: a powerful tool to combat social fraud? as well as Social ID cards: a way of stepping up Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the construction industry? Members interested in the EFBWW-FIEC final report, can find the document via this link:

http://www.efbww.org/default.asp?Issue=Social%20ID%20in%20construction&Language=EN

 

17/11/2014 - European standards conference entitled “Better services: how can European standards can help? – Results of Mandate M/517 on Horizontal Service Standards”

Organised by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), the conference aimed to present the results of Mandate M/517 EN about the development of potential Horizontal Services Standards (HSS) (see the Secretariat note of 19th May 2014).

The meeting was dedicated to these issues: Background on Mandate M/517 on HSS; HSS: case study of Techniker Krankenkasse (health insurance company); Main results: proposals for standardisation applicable to services (horizontal dimension). The final report on Mandate M/517 should be ready by March 2015.

06/11/2014 - Closing workshop on the “Best Value Manual” for the private security sector

Between 2013 and 2014, the social partners of the private security services, CoESS and UNI-Europa, updated their 1999 “Best Value Manual” in order to assist buyers in their tendering processes and in developing quality criteria for selecting the best value provider. The project was done through a call for tender at DG Employment, with the financial contribution of the European Commission. The workshop officially closed the 12-months project by addressing the effect of the new EU public procurement rules on the provision of security services, in particular article 67 of the new Directive according to which the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT) is now recognised as leading award criterion.

The closing workshop was dedicated to the following topics: the new 2014 EU public procurement rules, the updated “Best Value Manual”, responsible tendering: good practices at national level. As the EFCI is strongly considering updating its 2003 “Best Value Guide” as well, this meeting was very useful to obtain information on the future potential approach regarding content and logistics.

04/11/2014 - OiRA European social partners’ community meeting in Brussels

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA) organised this seminar to gather the EU social partners’ representatives from sectors having recently elaborated an EU sectoral OiRA tool. Close to the cleaning industry, the sectors of private security, live performance and sports/active leisure were also represented. Participants discussed the following topics: OiRA update (EU overview) and OiRA promotion aspects, EU OiRA tool example: feedback from the live performance sector, Development & promotion of existing tools, OiRA 2.0: software/interface improvements: overview of current activities for improvement, Other OSHA issues of interest: Wiki on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), the current and upcoming OSHA campaign (for 2016-2017 on Ageing) and the upcoming EU funding guide related to OSH issues.

29/10/2014 - European social dialogue Committee meeting on industrial cleaning

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

·       Report by the Chair regarding the OIB lunchtime conference on daytime cleaning organised in the Commission premises on 24 September 2014

·       Presentation by Eduardo Cobas from the Confederation of European Security Services (CoESS) on: a.) The actualisation of the “Best Value Manual” for the private security sector b.) The European Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tool for the private security sector

·       Discussion on the working programme 2015-2016 to be adopted at the first meeting of 2015

·       Report on the legislative procedure concerning the Commission proposal for an EU platform to fight against undeclared work

·       EFCI/UNI Europa lobbying activities: Joint statement by social partners on the implementation of the new Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement

·       Dates for next meetings in 2015

27/10/2014 - “Liaison Forum” lunch debate on representativeness studies and their role in supporting the development of the European social dialogue

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 European social partners’ representatives. The meeting served to discuss the objectives, process and added value of the EU representativeness studies which are led each 6 to 8 years by Eurofound (the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions). The last Eurofound representativeness study for our industry was carried out in 2011-2012 and confirmed that the EFCI remained the only one interlocutor of the cleaning sector’s employers at EU level.