During the meeting, which has been opened by CESI president Romain Wolff, the participants discussed the institutional and political developments on the European level due to the election of the European parliament, the appointment of a new European Commission, current developments such as the Ukraine crisis or the terrorist attacks in Paris. In respect to the latter, the Secretary General of CESI’s French member organisation Alliance Police Nationale Jean-Claude Delage thanked the other organisations and the CESI Secretariat for their moral support.
Regarding the new set-up of the European institutions, the commitment of European Commission president Juncker for an enhanced social dialogue revived hope and expectations of the participants who have seen how social dialogue in the member states has suffered during the crisis. For this purpose, Stefano Martinelli, European Commission expert for the European Social Dialogue committees for Local and Regional Administrations as well as Central Administrations, talked about the important issues for the European Social Dialogue in 2015.
According to Martinelli, the European Commission intends to more actively include the European Social partners when defining priorities and methods of the future European Social Dialogue. Amongst the concrete measures foreseen are a better involvement of social partners in the economic governance and in the European policy making. Also, he showed himself aware of the fact that CESI – as consequence of the representativeness study for local and regional administrations – aims at fully joining the respective European Social Dialogue committee.
Concerning the Trade Councils and Commissions, CESI’s Secretary General Klaus Heeger and Director Bert Van Caelenberg presented the outcome of the work of the last years and presented a positive mid-term review of the actions taken during the 2 years after the last congress. Heeger called upon the Trade Council presidents to show more initiative and to take over more responsibilities concerning the organisation, execution and follow up of the committees’ work in order to make them even more performant.
The Secretariat furthermore presented the work programme of the European Commission which will serve – although not exclusively – as a guideline for CESI’s actions. The investment package, the Europe 2020 mid-term review or mobility of workers etc. are of high interest for CESI. But also other topics, such as TiSA, social investment etc. stay of utmost importance. The Commission and Trade Council presidents afterwards pointed out their priorities for the upcoming year, which represent a wide variety of topics (such as trade union pluralism, women in management positions or violence against employees in public services) that will be discussed and followed up during and after the committees’ meetings.
The president of the CESI Europe Academy Emilio Fatovic presented this year’s project on information and consultation of workers, the outcome of which should contribute to better management and anticipation of restructuring in the public sector. The corresponding seminar is going to take place in Dublin on 24-26 June 2015.