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March - June 2015

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12/06/2015 - Submission of the joint UNI Europa and EFCI application to the European Commission Call for proposals VP-2015-001 with the aim to update the existing ‘Best value guide’

During the last Board meeting of London, members agreed to proceed to an update of the existing ‘Best value guide’ of 2004, and therefore asked the Secretariat to liaise with UNI Europa for submitting a joint application to the 2015 Call for proposals of the European Commission (DG EMPL). The relevant Call for proposals VP-2015-001 (Support for social dialogue) was published on 16 March, with the deadline for submission of applications set at 15 June. Between March and June, the EFCI and UNI Europa Secretariats met five times to discuss and draft all needed documents, such as work programme, budget explanation and other official documents. It was decided that UNI Europa would be the lead-applicant and EFCI the co-applicant. If accepted, the 18-month project would start on 1st December 2015 and would end on 1st June 2017. The joint application with all required documents (digital and paper versions) was submitted on 12 June. A definite answer from the Commission (approval or rejection of the project) is expected by November 2015. All members will be informed as soon as the answer has been received.

10/06/2015 - Social partners’ consultation seminar on the Commission ‘Labour Mobility package’

In its 2015 work programme, the Commission announced its intention to facilitate intra-EU labour mobility and to support the role of national authorities in fighting abuses and frauds. The general principle of free movement of workers is therefore closely linked to both the posting of workers and the access to social security benefits. During the consultation seminar, which gathered 50 participants, the EU social partners were invited to express their views on:
  • a targeted review of the Posting of Workers Directive 1996/71/EC (PWD)
  • a revision of the EU Regulations 883/2004 and 987/2010 on the coordination of social security systems
The employers’ delegation was composed of representatives from the three cross-industry organisations (BusinessEurope, CEEP, UEAPME) and from five sectoral organisations (CIETT, EFCI, FIEC, IRU, PEARLE). The trade unions’ delegation was led by the designated new Secretary General of ETUC, Luca Visentini, who will be officially start his function in autumn 2015. The Commission delegation was composed of a significant number of Commission officials. These included Michel Servoz, Director General DG Employment, Jordi Currell, Director Labour Law and Social Dialogue, civil servants of the labour law unit and cabinet members of Commissioner Thyssen. During the morning, the employers’ and trade unions’ delegations met separately in order to prepare the afternoon discussion with the European Commission. Both delegations met with Commission representatives during the afternoon. The main outcomes can be resumed as follows:
  • The EU Mobility Package, to be published by the end of 2015, will be composed of three main elements: A review of the PWD 1996/71/EC, a revision of the EU Regulations on the coordination of social security systems, and a Communication aiming to address broader mobility issues, such as the European Job Mobility Portal (EURES) and the prevention of undeclared work (for which legislative proposals are currently under discussion).
  • The review of the PWD 1996/71/EC will be focused on stock-taking and fact-findings. Matters related to the enforcement Directive will be excluded from this review. A key focus should be laid on the definition of minimum wages, the impact of wage-setting mechanisms and their relationship with social security, the duration of posting and the temporary nature of posting.
  • The Regulations on the coordination of social security systems shall be revised, addressing specifically aspects linked to unemployment benefits, family benefits and long-term care benefits.

02/06/2015 - Seminar entitled ‘Single Market in Services – Standards for success’ at the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the EU

The Single Market in services is still hampered by numerous technical barriers to trade. According to the Commission and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), common standards can increase competition and remove such obstacles. However, standardisation of services bears important challenges for the services industry. The first part of the meeting was devoted to presenting ‘The German Standardization Roadmap for Services’ which highlights the potentials and limits of services standardisation, and identifies areas in which standardisation has great importance for the services sector. The second part was dedicated to a panel discussion entitled: “Does Europe need a service standardization strategy?”’.

01/06/2015 - “Liaison Forum” meeting at DG EMPL

This “Liaison Forum” meeting was dedicated to the following subjects:
  • Presentations on two recent social partners’ joint projects (commerce and construction sectors):
    • Eurocommerce-UNI Europa project: ‘More and better jobs for young people in the commerce sector’
    • FIEC-EFBWW project: ’Initiatives for youth employment in the construction industry’
  • Skills for employability and competitiveness – by DG EMPL
  • From the sector skills councils to the sector skills alliances – by DG EMPL
  • European Alliance for Apprenticeships – by DG EMPL
  • EU Digital Single Market – by DG Connect (Communications, Networks, Content and Technology)

27/05/2015 - European seminar entitled ‘Implementation and application of the new European Public Procurement Directive’, organised by the EFBWW in Frankfurt (27th and 28th May)

The European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) is the European trade unions representing the construction industry. The Director was invited by the EFBWW to take part in a panel debate entitled “Social elements in public procurement: a political choice, a necessity, or simply a waste of money?”

This two-day seminar was also dedicated to the following issues:

  • Setting the scene: what future public procurement challenges lay ahead?
  • Short overview of the EFBWW draft manual on public procurement
  • Overview of the legal and jurisprudential framework to implement social elements in the national public procurement legislation
  • Panel discussion: What needs to be done in order to make sure that public money is well spent?
  • Presentations of best practices: How can the public contractor fulfil a pioneering role to create a level playing field? ; Public procurement as an instrument to combat wage dumping and unfair sub-contracting practices; How can occupational, health, safety and other vocational training be integrated into public procurement procedure?

19/05/2015 - 2015 Pulire tradeshow in Verona (19th to 21st May)

The trade show Pulire is the largest professional cleaning industry tradeshow in Italy and hosts the complete range of machinery, chemical products, equipment and components for professional cleaning and hygiene. Behind the ISSA/Interclean trade show in Amsterdam, it ranks second for importance and size in Europe (together with the CMS trade show in Berlin). On 20th May, Andreas Lill participated in the press conference and workshop regarding the European Cleaning days together with representatives from EU-nited, Messe Berlin and Afidamp.

27/04/2015 - European social dialogue Committee meeting on Industrial cleaning

Jointly organised by UNI Europa and the EFCI, this meeting was dedicated to these subjects:
  • Social partners’ project application for EU funding to update the ‘Best value guide’ for cleaning services: State of play by UNI Europa and EFCI Secretariats
  • Presentation of UNI Europa member (AU) on the crisis effects on working conditions in the sector
  • Joint Declaration in support of the UNI Europa Cleaners’ Charter: Presentation by UNI Europa followed by discussion between participants
  • Report from the Commission on the high-level event on social dialogue held on 5 March 2015
  • Update on the Commission proposal to establish a European Platform to fight against undeclared work

22/04/2015 - British Cleaning Council (BCC) Board meeting in London

Founded in 1982, the BCC is the umbrella organisation representing 21 cleaning associations, which cover every facet of the UK cleaning industry. For some months, positive internal discussions were held to assess whether the BCC could become the British EFCI member. In margin of the EFCI Board of London, the Director was invited by the BCC to give a presentation about the benefits of joining the EFCI. During the meeting, Andreas Lill spoke about the new developments in the market such as globalisation and the integration of services. He presented how the BCC could help to develop and influence policy in Europe if they were members. After debating the subject, BCC members decided unanimously to join the EFCI as the exclusive UK representative for the cleaning industry. For further details, please visit the BCC website via this link: http://britishcleaningcouncil.org/about-us/

20/04/2015 - “Liaison Forum” meeting at DG EMPL

The “Liaison Forum”, which is held several times per year by DG EMPL, offers a regular platform of information, discussion and exchanges on issues of interest for EU social partners’ representatives. The meeting was dedicated to the following subjects:
  • State of play of the ex post evaluation of 24 EU Occupational Safety and  Health (OSH) Directives
  • Follow-up to the high-level conference of 5th March, including updates on ongoing policy initiatives and exchange of views on how to improve knowledge about EU level social dialogue
  • Information on the content of the ‘Strategy Framework for the Energy Union

24/03/2015 - Debate entitled “Towards a Fair Future for Services” organised by UNI Europa

Services in Europe account for about 70% of EU GDP and employment. They not only bring the majority of Europeans into work, but they are also the backbone of a competitive economy and a modern society. According to UNI Europa, there is a risk that in times of a high unemployment, rising inequality, and continuing economic stagnation, Europeans are losing faith in the EU’s ability to foster economic and social progress. It is therefore needed to ensure high standards in terms of quality and employment. Only with a thriving services sector, the EU will be able to reach its full potential by combining a competitive economy with an inclusive social model. This event served to present and discuss UNI Europa proposals for an EU policy on services that can boost growth and competitiveness, improve citizens’ quality of life and create quality jobs.  

24/03/2015 - Eurociett-UNI Europa conference entitled ‘How temporary agency work compares to other forms of employment?’

Organised by the European Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Eurociett) and UNI Europa, this meeting aimed to present the results of a study comparing temporary agency work with other forms of employment and how they coexist in the EU labour market. The survey showed that temporary agency work contributes to more efficient labour markets by reducing unemployment, easing transitions into work, increasing labour market participation and helping fight undeclared work. During the event, the EU social partners representing the employment and recruitment sector signed Joint Recommendations to policymakers that can be found on the Eurociett website via this link: http://www.eurociett.eu/index.php?id=94. Furthermore, these items were debated:
  • How to maintain job quality in different forms of employment?
  • How temporary agency work compares with other forms of employment?
Round table on case studies – Belgium: How to achieve satisfaction of agency workers? / France: Understanding why fixed-term contracts are 5 times more widespread than agency work contracts? / Italy & Spain: What drives the use of self-employment?