The European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) is a confederation of 38 trade union organisations from 21 European countries and 4 European trade union organisations, with a total of more than 5 million individual members. 3 further trade union organisations enjoy observer status.
Founded in 1990, CESI advocates improved employment conditions for workers in Europe and a strong social dimension in the EU.
CESI’s particular strength lies in the public sector but CESI also represents private sector workers. Most of CESI’s affiliates are employed in the fields of central, regional and local administration, security and justice, education, training and research, healthcare, postal services and telecommunications, defence and transport.
CESI and its members are involved in advocacy work as an interest group and in social dialogue as a recognised European social partner (since 2005), being involved in various EU-level sectoral social dialogue committees.
Since 2013, the CESI Youth has been a voice of CESI’s young affiliates. CESI’s Europe Academy serves as an internal training centre for members.
CESI defends trade union pluralism as a core component of freedom and democracy, views non-partisanship as a guiding principle of its work, and strictly adheres to ethical fundamental principles such as integrity, fairness, incorruptibility and transparency. CESI defends a European social model based on solidarity and subsidiarity and, in its work, strives to maintain the principles of non-discrimination and gender equality. CESI promotes the further development of its own youth organisation and its inclusion in internal decision-making processes.
CESI works in line with the principles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the European Convention on Human Rights). It defends the principles and aims listed in the Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights and in the Council of Europe’s European Social Charter.
To find out more about CESI, access CESI’s statutes, basic positioning paper and activity report 2013-2016 in the resources section.