SOC and FEMM Commissions in dialogue with European Parliament and European Commission on EU social and employment policy

On March 8, CESI’s members’ Commissions on Employment and Social Affairs (SOC) and Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) convened for their first meeting of the year in Brussels to discuss CESI’s advocacy on EU employment and social policy currently in the making. Guest speakers at the meeting included representatives from the European Parliament and Commission.

Under the chairmanship of the Presidents of the two Commissions -Javier Jordán de Urries Sagarna from CESI’s Spanish member organisation CSIF for the SOC Commission and Kirsten Lühmann from CESI’s German affiliate dbb for the FEMM Commission- key draft and expected EU measures in the field of social, employment and gender equality policy were discussed with relevant decision-makers in the European Parliament and the European Commission.

On the agenda: Ex-Written statement directive, work-life balance legislation and more

Adam Pokorny, Head of the ‘Labour Law’ Unit in the European Commission, joined the meeting for a debate on the European Commission’s recent proposal for a Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions (ex-Written statement directive). After relaying its views on the proposal, the Commission members adopted guidelines for CESI’s advocacy work on the file during the upcoming legislative negotiations on a final legal text between the EU’s two co-legislators, the European Parliament and the Council.

Daniel Constantinides, Political Adviser to MEP Maria Arena, came for a discussion on the ongoing legislative negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council on a new Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers to give CESI a possibility to feed political priorities on the file back to Ms Arena, S&D shadow rapporteur for the European Parliament.

The FEMM Commission had adopted advocacy guidelines already at its last meeting in autumn 2017. The debate was enriched by insights from Mary Collins, Senior Policy Adviser at the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), who attended the meeting as a guest speaker.

Discussions within the SOC and FEMM Commissions also took place on the recent trilogue agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on a revision of the EU posting of workers directive as well as on recent case law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the classification of ‘stand-by’ time as working time under the EU working time directive.  A resolution was adopted on the topic of ‘Gender-based violence and harassment at home and at work‘ as input to a forthcoming own-initiative report of the European Parliament on ‘Measures to prevent and combat mobbing and sexual harassment at workplace, in public spaces and political life in the EU’.

FASGA report on implementation problems of gender equality plans in Spain

The meeting also addressed exchanges of best practices and challenges of CESI’s national-level member organisations. Angélica Vázquez Flores from CESI’s Spanish member organisation FASGA reported about problems with the implementation and enforcement of gender equality plans in Spain – a topic that will be further examined in a pan-European comparative perspective at the next meeting of the FEMM Commission.

Based on a report by CESI’s member organisation CSIF on spreading precarious and fixed-term work in the public sector in Spain at the last SOC Commission’s last meeting in autumn 2017, Susanne Kraatz from the European Parliament’s research policy department also briefed the Commission members on the findings of a report on ‘Risk of precarious work in the public sector in Europe‘.

Adopted resolutions will be made available soon in the resources section. The next meeting of the SOC and FEMM Commissions will take place on September 6 2018 in Brussels.

Picture: CESI’s SOC and FEMM Commissions in session © CESI 2018