Trade Council ‘Central Administration & Finances’ discusses digitalisation, mobility, austerity in public services

During its annual meeting in Brussels today, CESI's Trade Council 'Central Administration and Finances' - the members' sectoral forum to discuss European political subjects with implications for central administration workers - discussed on consequences of intra-EU mobility on social security systems and public services, impacts of digitalisation on employment relationships and trade unionism in public administrations, and influences of continued cuts in public budgets on the functioning of and work in public administrations.

Trade Council ‘Central Administration & Finances’ discusses digitalisation, mobility, austerity in public services

Klára Fóti from Eurofound, delivered a presentation on consequences of intra-EU mobility on social security systems and public services. She noted in particular that unmet needs of mobile EU citizens in their host countries are mainly found in areas like language services and information on rights. More training for staff in service providers on the rules and regulations applicable to EU mobile citizens would have a significant positive impact on labour market and social integration as well as on destitution, she stressed. 

The Trade Council members also held a debate on the impacts of digitalisation on employment relationships and trade unionism in public administrations. There was a general agreement that digitalisation should not be considered a threat per se but that, if properly shaped and regulated, digitalisation can lead to win-win situations for both employees and employers. It was highlighted that financial savings, achieved by productivity gains through digitalisation, should be shared with employees in one way or the other. It was also suggested that the concept of working time should be revisited if workers achieve productivity gains in the context of digitisation processes.

A discussion ensued about the influences of continued cuts in public budgets on the functioning of and work in public administrations. An appeal was adopted which calls on the EU institutions to remind the EU Member States that public administrations need to have the necessary means and resources to deliver appropriate services to citizens and businesses and that they cannot function properly if their employees continue to be subject to wage freezes and increased work intensities. The appeal still needs to be adopted by the CESI Presidium. Following its adoption the appeal will be published in the policy positions section of CESI’s website.

At the end of the meeting, a joint position by CESI and the Union of Finance Personnel in Europe (UFE) on the European Commission’s fight against tax fraud and tax avoidance and the role of tax administrators therein was adopted. The position still needs to be confirmed by the CESI Presidium in June (see separate press release).

Picture: CESI Trade Council ‘Central Administration and Finance’ © CESI 2016