Editorial of the Secretary General: Happy new year 2020 – what´s on our plate?

Dear colleagues, members, partners and friends,

The new year has started with quite some punch: On January 14 the European Commission, just six weeks into its new term, presented fresh ideas on how to make Europe more socially just and fair.

In an explanatory communication entitled ‘A strong social Europe for just transitions’, the European Commission set out its social timetable and initiatives for the year ahead, all centrally bundled under the umbrella of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

We have very clearly welcomed the speedy start of the new European Commission and the swiftly tabled new ideas for more social justice and fairness in the EU and its Member States, and we stand ready to assist and advise the European Commission in shaping a future-proof Europe. We look forward to working to this end with Ursula von der Leyen, Valdis Dombrovskis, Nicolas Schmit and the college of Commissioners.

In 2020, therefore, CESI will, of course, make it a priority to lobby on the most important of the planned initiatives of the European Commission in EU employment and social affairs, which include proposals for an EU-wide minimum wage framework, binding measures for pay transparency and the regularisation of employment in the platform economy. Moreover, our internal trade councils and commissions –most notably those on education, health, defence, central administration and finance, local and regional administration, defence and security– will, of course, continue to drive CESI’s sectoral policy work also in 2020.

We will also continue branding our “own” topic and continue putting it on the EU agenda: The future of work, spanning across the aspects of adequate labour law, social protection and effective interest representation. In December, the Presidium of CESI paved the way for further CESI action when it adopted a first position paper on this topic. One of the centrepieces of our work in this area will be the second CESI Summer Days on the future of work on June 17-18 2020 in Brussels. The first edition last June was a great success, and we look forward to making the next Summer Days even bigger and better!

While our work in the different European social dialogue committees will continue in good cooperation with our employer and employee partner organisations, CESI will strive to further expand the consultation by the European Commission of our members in the annual European Semester process, an activity that we successfully jumpstarted last year as a test if on a small scale.

Our Europe Academy is also looking forward to another year, continuing its projects on precarious work and third-party violence at work, and starting a further project with co-funding from the European Commission on the role of public services and their personnel in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. We look forward to the active engagement of all members!

Our year will then culminate in the next ordinary Congress, which will take place in Brussels on December 10-11 in conjunction with festivities on the occasion of CESI’s 30-year anniversary. Mark your calendars already now!