In their last meetings of the year, the Presidium and Board of CESI approved the main topics and activities for 2018: The implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights at the EU and national levels, the revision of the EU’s economic governance and Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) towards a more social and investment-friendly framework, the integration of refugees into the labour markets and the adjustments of labour law and social legislation to new and future forms of employment and work. CESI will also work in depth to support its affiliates throughout their national activities. A particular focus will be put on the education (giving adequate value and support to the teaching profession), security (protecting those who protect) and defence sectors (creating a European Defence Union with equal social and labour rights for military personnel in joint missions). Finally, the challenges of the EU as a whole, in particular ahead of the European election year, will remain crucial. As a confederation of public sector workers, the importance of services of general interest and their delivery by public authorities and their respected workers remain CESI’s ‘raison d’être’.
As last year, CESI is planning to hold and implement a variety of events and projects to implement its annual objectives.
Building on successes during the last year such as the affiliation of further member organisations, the formal establishment of the CESI Youth, CESI’s enhanced participation in sectoral social dialogue committees -especially its new participation in the social dialogue on postal services- and the increasingly tangible influence on European decision-making, the CESI General Secretariat looks forward to a continued strong partnership with all its members in 2018. In the efforts to further improve the employment and working conditions of their affiliates, CESI will continue to work trustfully and reliably in various platforms, committees and fora with European institutions, social partners and civil society organisations.
Hard work for a more social and worker-friendly Europe is required as before. As set out in a new position paper of CESI’s Presidium of December 2017 on the future of the EU, there must be finally recognition of the equal value of social-political goals of the EU compared to the single market and economic freedoms. There must also be an understanding of subsidiarity, especially in terms of social policy, which should not only require member states’ competence or action on the lowest levels, but should focus on solving problems in an increasingly-integrated EU. As long as the Single Market rules remain the exclusive responsibility of the EU, whereas social policies remain primarily the responsibility of the member states, it is clear that it will be difficult to achieve a balance between Single Market freedoms and social-political goals at EU level. CESI advocates an honest approach in this regard.
In terms of both labour law and social security, the EU and its Member States need to tackle the challenges of new forms of employment and atypical work patterns, above all in the collaborative economy. And trade unions may have to go beyond their traditional roles in collective bargaining and social dialogue to find new ways to cater for the interests of people employed in the collaborative economy. Those workers have a special need to be represented, but they may need different services than trade unions have traditionally offered. The crucial questions will be if trade unions must, should and, if so, will be able to contribute also to the fair representation of gig and cloud workers, a representation which, in the end, will serve the interests of all workers and the society as a whole.
Lots to work on in 2018! We look forward to tackle it with you!
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