Audition with Commissioner Bolkestein
22 June 2000, European Parliament

Theme : preparation directive on liberalisation Post

Present for Eurofedop : Bert Van Caelenberg and Ludo Vekemans

Towards 2003, an important part of the postal services will be opened to competition, thus are anyway the intentions expressed by the European Commission.
Commissioner Bolkestein aims for : "a rapid, efficient, competitive postal service in order to make the Internal Market a reality for the users".
The part that is considered appropriate for opening to the market, would be about 20 % (of the income of the suppliers of the universal service), with the guarantee that a "reserved area" would be maintained for the public sector of about 50 % (on average).
On 1 January 2007, the situation will be re-assessed.
Bolkestein gives "rock-hard" (sic) guarantees that the universal service will be preserved, in spite of the many question marks, the reservation expressed by the Parliamentarians present.
Eurofedop has been invited by the Commission to a deliberation round on 17 July next (to be marked in the agendas, because of : extremely important).

Social Dialogue Committee in the Telecommunications Sector
15 June 2000

After missing its start at the end of 1999, the new Social Dialogue Committee in the Telecommunications Sector met on 15 June 2000.
Walter Faber, head of unit DG Employment and Social Affairs, situated the committee in a new political and economic environment.
He stated that the social policy, the driving force of European social dialogue, is now undeniably considered as a productive factor in Europe.
He referred to a stronger commitment and increased autonomy for the social partners, the flexibility of working arrangements and working methods. And he spoke about the increased support from the Commission.
The new chairman, Mr Manfred Bobke (representing ETNO), declared not wanting to look back. The problems on the side of the workers and the employers are now solved and we wish to look forward.
The working programme was presented and approved. This programme contains the following topics :
- Training of workers and skills upgrade.
- Certification of qualifications and portability of skills.
- Modernisation of work organisation : guidelines on telework.
- Health and safety in the Telecommunications sector.
- Social implications of policy developments.
Moreover, three working groups will be constituted :
- Training in IC technologies. Lifelong learning and certification of qualifications.
- Work organisation (focusing on telework).
- Health and safety.
A proposal was made for creating a working group ad hoc on the social consequences of liberalisation in the Telecom sector.
A presentation was made by Ms Mary Donnelly DG Employment and Social Affairs on the European Job Strategy in the Information Society. Ms Jane Murray spoke about the "ICT Consortium Project on generic skills profiles".
On the part of the workers’ organisations, Eurofedop was represented by Bert Van Caelenberg, Alfred Lohman, Horst Sayffaert, Joop Van Aarendonck. As participants in the working groups, Clement Van Cauter, Horst Sayffaert and Jean-François Vanneste were suggested.


In honour of David Evans, retiring POA secretary general, a farewell reception was held on 12 June 2000 in London.

David has been a valuable colleague for Eurofedop, and we are sad to see him leave.
Nevertheless, we wish him all the best and know that he more than deserved to be in the countryside he loves so much.
We will always remember him fondly. He always tackled problems with flair and conviction. As you all know, in the trade union world every so often difficult situations arise, but even then he stayed calm.
David was well aware that his work had a European dimension, hence his loyal commitment to our organisation, and his broad view of every aspect of public services.
David always took his responsibility, both in the Trade Council Justice and in the Executive Committee, where we got to know him as a very determined person, whose social commitment always came first.
David, we wish you the best of luck, and we will never forget how well we could co-operate.


Seminar : Who’s afraid of European Documentation ?
EIPA, Maastricht, from 5 to 7 June 2000

The European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht (NL), held its seventh seminar on European documentation entitled : "Who’s afraid of European Documentation ?" at its premises in Maastricht from 5 to 7 June 2000.
The aim of this seminar was to provide those working in the field of European affairs on a daily basis, within and outside the Community institutions, with the skills to trace and use European documents, by offering them a complete overview of European documentation, including on-line documents and methods of gaining access to it.
Important themes have proved to be for Eurofedop : the process of enlargement of the European Union, the European Parliament on-line, decision-making in the first pillar : actors, procedures, committees. This subject was dealt with by Christoph Demmke, Head of Unit on European Public Management, EIPA, who based himself for this on the case study : From elaboration to implementation, the Drinking Water Directive I and II. Especially the role of the European Parliament, that has developed from consultation to co-decision, is also of great importance for other directives such as with regard to "worktime regulation excluded sectors". Another seminar subject was : Public access to the documents of the Council, Amsterdam implications (Justice and Home Affairs after Amsterdam).
An expert of the European Court of Justice held an introduction on ‘Learning and Finding Case Law of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance’. This allowed us to get a better insight into COM(98)322 and its legal application with regard to the representativeness of European trade unions.
Ian Thomson, University of Wales, Cardiff, dealt on-line with "European Information on the Internet".
The project leader of the seminar was Veerle Deckmyn, head of Information, Documentation and Publication Services of the EIPA. Participants came from the EU and Central and Eastern Europe. Bert Van Caelenberg participated for Eurofedop.
Do you want to know more about the EIPA ? This is the website :



Meeting with the secretary of state of the Public Administration,
Mr Alexandre Rosa
Portugal (Lisbon), 11th May 2000, 16.20-17.30

Our host put forward the following objectives :
- speak about our problems with respect to social dialogue,
- communication on the decisions taken by the meeting of the directors general of the Public Administration.
Mr Alexandre Rosa explained his position for Portugal. Today’s conversations can result in agreements or not. Even if social dialogue is known to be difficult, there is also, specifically for the public services, the competence of the countries. There is the problem of the representativeness. Nevertheless, he is of the opinion that he should regard this as a possibility, not as a problem.
Therefore he suggests this informal framework. Now, what are the best ways to formalise this ? From his vision on society and the world, one should not wait any longer but start !
He has submitted a plan to the meeting of the directors general. There has not been a decision taken by these 15 for a more formal dialogue. A possibility has to be sought through the Troika, in order to make more possible later.
The French presidency wants to take an initiative and its director general has announced this at the conference on "best practice".
It has suggested the following subjects, after giving consideration to the proposals set forward by the various countries and the trade unions :
- mobility of civil servants in Europe,
- services orientated towards the public,
- Human Resources Management,
- new technologies,
- new employment forms,
- ethics in the public service,
- quality, modernization, benchmarking,
- training.
These can be items to start with. This cannot lead to formal agreements, directives or other legislation. It would be good to confront this, discuss this with the European trade unions.
The first speaker is Pierre Trausch, president of USSP. What is stated by the secretary of state, largely corresponds to the ideas of this organisation, as first step towards a further dialogue. The USSP also mentions the definition of the public service, the role of the state as subjects it wants to speak about. It asks that contacts would be organised on the same place and at the same date as the meeting of the directors general.

Then Bert Van Caelenberg speaks for Eurofedop. He describes the recent evolutions in the field of social dialogue and, by giving an example, refers to the necessity of starting European deliberations. He mentions the conclusions that have been taken at the conference of January 2000 and lays emphasis on the themes that should be dealt with. He refers to the conferences that we have organised and where we have given the opportunity to employers, trade union representatives and politicians to enter into discussion with each other.
The secretary of state produces a first reply and warns that it can in no way be the intention of starting discussions now, at European level, about national competences with regard to personnel matters. He is of the opinion that a step forward has been achieved, during this presidency. The conclusions will be transmitted to the French presidency. He underlines that three organisations have been invited, and that for the first time Eurofedop is among them. Thanks to the efforts in the past, now one has the material to start.
The USSP replies to this by stating that, when choices have to be made, mobility and training are important to this organisation.
Bert Van Caelenberg says for Eurofedop that, with the discussion of themes, it is important to think in the largest sense, so that one would not be paralysed by formal procedures. On the basis of the brochure ‘30 years Eurofedop’ and the magazine that is published every 6 months, he gives practical examples of how Eurofedop tries to contribute to constructive dialogue. Also, the publication of Commissioner Van Miert on services of general interest is, in addition to COM(98)322, of the greatest importance for the deliberations.
In conclusion, the director general states that a first discussion on a charter on ethics has been proposed, but that there has not been a majority for this. Now an inquiry has been carried out, of which the results will also be communicated to us. Finally, mutual thanks are exchanged.
In the margin of the conversation, the secretary general has spoken with colleague Leodolfo Bettencourt about the strike in the public service that Leodolfo has organised this week in Portugal.
As regards the participation of USSP in this session, we wish to indicate that originally, a conversation was planned with this organization at 15.00, while that with Eurofedop would take place at 16.00. Due to the activities at the final session of the conference, it was suggested to hold this meeting together at 16.00, something we did not oppose. This meeting together with two organisations has also been a political sign towards the EPSU, that wishes not to sit around the table with anyone.
Pictures have been taken, that will have a publicity value.
As final consideration, I would like to personally mention here Leodolfo Bettencourt, who helped to achieve this result, through timing, influence and political insight. The session in January 2000, the letters to ministers and directors general, the unceasing pressure have made this meeting possible.
Now we look forward to the French presidency, in which respect contacts have already taken place. Here the meeting with Nicole Fontaine, Chairwoman of the European Parliament, is very important. As a well-informed member of the Board, you know of course that all these initiatives take place in combination with all the other Eurofedop activities. The reason why you receive this extensive report later, is that we have moved with the whole secretariat to another building from 15th May to 18th May.


1st Conference on the Quality of Public Administration
in the European Union
Portugal (Lisbon), 10-11-12 May 2000

F.l.t.r.: Mag. Dr. Norbert Schnedl (G…D/FCG), Dr. Herwig Frad (G…D/FCG), Jorge Pereira (STE), Bert Van Caelenberg (Eurofedop), Leodolfo Bettencourt (STE), Yves Messière (CFTC/FGF), François Bonin (CFTC/Finances).
The idea for the organisation of such a conference had been raised for the first time during the Austrian Presidency.

It was the Portuguese Presidency that set up the organisation. Through a description of 40 projects from several European countries, a picture was drawn of today’s tendencies in the public administration and corresponding services. Among the speakers at the opening session, there were Gérard Druesne, director general EIPA; Spiros Pappas, European Union; Geert Bouckaert, Catholic University of Leuven. Especially the last one was given a long applause and he would be regularly quoted during the following sessions. (Slides of his speech can be obtained in English through
Four subjects were dealt with in parallel sessions.
1) New millennium, new management
2) In search for excellence, quality management in action
3) New technology, in the age of the Internet
4) The citizen is king : new emphasis on the service to the citizen
At the closing session, where descriptions were given of what had been discussed for each subject, a number of experts came to give their vision on what had preceded, or make complementary remarks. The ideas presented by the delegate of OECD-PUMA, advocating the model of New Zealand and other neoliberal principles, were clearly not in agreement with the conclusions of the conference.
To win the trust of the citizen must happen through leadership (by investing in people, especially the staff at medium executive level) and through knowledge management (one must know what exists in the field of the know-how). How will we react in the next 10 years, when more than 25 % of today’s civil servants will have retired ? What will be the wishes of our clients, the citizens, in 5 years ?
Will there be a risk of us civil servants and other staff of the public service becoming competitors in Europe in term ? One was happy with the results of the activities, that were positive, but still a number of questions had also been raised. The value of this conference was not only that it had brought together responsible officials from Europe, but also that it has produced real achievements. The organisation was a success, in every respect. Alexandre Rosa and Julio Nabais, respectively secretary of state and director general of the Civil Service of Portugal, have succeeded in their aim. Other conferences may follow, but Portugal will be reminded as the first successful organiser.


"Professional Unionism in the Civil Service"
Madrid, 5th - 10th of May 2000

The first meeting of Hispano-Mexican union members took place in Madrid from the 5th until the 10th of May, 2000. The Mexican delegation, represented by the Federation of Union Workers in the Civil Service, Local and Decentralized Institutions, at State and Local levels of the Mexican Republic (FSTSGEM). The Spanish delegation was represented by our organization, the Confederation of Independent Unions and Public Service Union (CSI-CSIF).
The purpose was the exchange of experiences and information concerning "Professional Unionism in the Civil Service". The coordinators were: Paloma Muro, Chairman of the National Division of CSI-CSIF of Central Government and Social Security, Gregorio Sualdea Guijarro, Chairman of the National Division of Local Government and Béatriz Serrano Blázquez, Head of International Relations and National Coordinator for the Woman’s Department of CSI-CSIF.
The opening took place in the Madrid Council House of América, on the 5th of May at 5.30pm. The opening ceremony was headed up by the Vice-Chairman of CSI-CSIF, José Jiménez Blázquez, and the Chairman of INFEDOP, Guy Rasneur, the Chairman of CSI-CSIF, Domingo Fernández Veiguela and the Secretary-General of FSTSGEM, Agueda Galicia Jiménez. Following speeches from the union representatives, a reception was hosted at the Madrid City Council by Mrs. Begoña Larrainzar, the council’s Head of Personnel.
The workshops began on the 8th of May, 2000 with presentations on the union and political situation given by the Mexican leaders. Subsequently, each speaker from the different States continued and the situation changed significantly:
Tiberio Saracoo Lizárraga, Secretary-General of the State of Sinaloa, David de la Peña Rosas, Secretary-General of the Single Civil Service Union of the State of Coalhuila, Jorge A. Molina Bazán, Secretary- General of SEMACM in Morelia, Manuel Antonio Chable, Secretary-General of SUTSE, Tabasco, Gregorio López González, Secretary-General of the Council Union of San Juan del Río, Felipe de Jesús Martínez Gallo, Secretary- General of the Col. Central State of Zacatecas, José Ma. Ruíz Soto, Secretary-General of the State of Sonora, David Parra, Secretary-General of SUTSE in the State of Mexico, Carlos Mauricío Sansores Pérez, Secretary-General of SUTSE in Campeche, José Merced, Director of the CENPROS Training Centre and Agueda Galicia, Secretary-General of FSTSGEM in the Republic of the State of Mexico.
Representing our organization (CSI-CSIF), our Chairman, Domingo Fernández, provided a little of the history leading up to the situation today concerning representation, union elections. Angel Lozano, National Secretary for Negotiation, spoke about Negotiation in the Civil Service and José Jiménez Blázquez, Vice-Chairman and National Secretary of the Union Action Group, gave an in-depth explanation of the importance of Union Action, representation, the elections mechanism and the organisational structure of CSI-CSIF.
Representing INFEDOP, the Chairman Guy Rasneur focused the debate on "professionalism", this being an essential factor to maintain, and taking into account globalisation as well. From a European perspective, he explained the current situation of "European Social Dialogue" and reinforced the need to become integrated into this. Bert Van Cuelenberg, Secretary-General of INFEDOP, using videos on the structural organization of the European Union, demonstrated the role of unions being developed by organizations such as INFEDOP and EUROFEDOP, on a global and European level respectively.
The workshops took a new direction on Tuesday, 9th May, where it was the Government’s turn to give its views on "Professional Unionism and the Civil Service". The round table was made up of Doña Begoña Larrainzar, Head of Personnel in Madrid City Council and Mr Heliodoro García, Director-General for Civil Service in the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León, coordinated by the National Chairman of the Division of Justice of CSI-CSIF, Mr Josep Lluis Bauzá. The presentation offered Government views on Unionism, defined within the scope of union activity: institutional participation, social harmonization, the relationship between Government and Unions, negotiation and how the unions responded to all of these.
At 6.00pm, a reception was hosted by the Delegation of the Government of the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
On the 10th of May, Victoriano Borreguero, National Secretary of Institutional Relations and Chairman of the Territorial Federation of Madrid, closed the session of the "First Hispano-Mexican Meeting", with a course on "Communication and Negotiation Strategies".
The workshops were closed at 7.00pm, by our National Chairman Domingo Fernández Veiguela, at the National Headquarters of CSI-CSIF.
Béatriz Serrano Blázquez
Head of International Relations
National Coordinator of the Woman’s Department


Public Services
Breakthrough in European social dialogue

After the conference of the general secretaries of the fifteen and the conference "The Civil Service in Europe and in the World" (27-29 January 2000) Eurofedop was received, as part of the informal social dialogue, by the Portuguese secretary of state for the civil service and administrative modernisation, Mr. Alexandre Rosa. General director Julio Nabais was also present during this conversation.
Although the general directors don’t agree about the way the consultations should be organised, the French representative announced an initiative during the next presidency.
After a warm welcome, we were briefed about the decisions of the meeting of the general secretaries.
Our input by means of the documents concerning Ethics in the public service was highly praised.
We suggested that the following topics be discussed:
- Modernisation tendencies in Public Administration
- Internationalisation
- Europeanisation and universalisation of the subject of the public service
- The impact of new technologies and the new forms of employment that come with it
The secretary general added HRM/mobility.
As members of the troika, they will forward our concerns to the French chair.
Although the three European organisations were invited, we regretted that ESCOP wasn’t present. Bert Van Caelenberg, secretary-general, and Leodolfo Bettencourt, member of the board, made up the Eurofedop delegation.
The 15 directors of the civil service are discussing our congress resolutions.
The demands, voiced during the conference in Lisbon, January 2000, are met for 90%. We would like to thank the Portuguese chair for the positive step taken on the long road to European social consultation for the public services.

EU - The way forward - Malta

On 22nd May, a conference with the above-mentioned title took place in Malta.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Affairs. For the EU spoke Dr. Simon Busuttil, Head of Malta’s EU Information Centre, and H.E.R. Giorgio Boggio, Head of Delegation of the European Commission. The theme of "Social Policy and the role of the Public Trade Unions in the European Union" was introduced by the secretary general of Eurofedop, Bert Van Caelenberg.

He stated that the laws of the free market are more dominant than ever, in all fields of the human life. The social model should reserve a place and create a place for the numerous organisations and people who want to realise their social involvement through concrete acts in the Christian Workers Movement. Social dialogue can only play its role when based on the existing structure of the Union. He equally referred to the importance of COM(98)322, which he characterised as the principal publication in recent years. Eurofedop, which can look back at 35 years of existence and experience, which has adequate structures for its working through different trade councils, was pleased by this initiative of the Union Haddiema Maghqudin.

The UHM has been a partner of Eurofedop since many years and has thus become familiar with the practice of European social dialogue. The secretary general congratulated Chairman Gaetano Tanti with the organisation of this congress and promised, on behalf of the Executive Committee, that the mutual cooperation would be reinforced.


Hearing on Charter on Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Brussels, 27.04.2000

The European Federation of Employees in Public Services is a European trade union organization which unites 52 national organizations from 25 European countries into a federation with seat in Brussels.

Our interests are situated in the sphere of the public services in all its aspects, i.e. the traditional ministries as well as the health care sector, security services and semi-public institutions such as the post and telecom companies.

As regards the contents of this Charter, we have the following remarks.

1. As a trade union organization, we support of course those articles which guarantee the right to association, negotiation and collective action.
Nevertheless, there are still some anomalies in this respect, which perhaps could be adapted within the framework of this Charter.
Art. 5 and 6 of the Social Charter of the Council of Europe namely impose restrictions on certain security services such as the Police and Defence.
In various European countries (France, Italy, Portugal, Greece, United Kingdom, Spain), these services still have to lack trade union rights.
Eurofedop recognizes that these rights indeed have to be suspended in crisis situations, but nevertheless requests that the personnel of Police and Defence, in the normal execution of their functions, could enjoy the same rights as those which they have to defend in many cases. (Eurofedop has deposited complaint in this respect at the Council of Europe.)

2. Eurofedop is also of the opinion that every citizen has the right to a well-functioning public service, i.e. easy access, right to information etc. But this good functioning can only be guaranteed if
1) sufficient budgetary means are set available,
2) the universal service is clearly defined,
3) certain essential services to the citizen are safeguarded against privatization and are no longer considered an economic good.

3. Within the framework of the fight against corruption, Eurofedop advocates the introduction of the right to speak for civil servants into the Charter on Fundamental Rights.
Of course, account has to taken hereby of certain aspects of the professional secrecy.

4. We advocate also, it goes without saying, the institution of social dialogue, also for the public services, at European level. As numerous decisions of the European Commission have an influence on the working of the public services at crossborder level, it is absolutely indispensable that a dialogue is elaborated in this respect. The problem however is that one does not succeed in giving the necessary legal support to the establishment of an employers’ forum at European level.

5. Analogous with the possibilities of introducing a collective complaint by non-governmental organizations with consultative status at the Council of Europe (regarding the Social Charter), such a possibility should also be provided for in connection with this Charter of the European Union.


1. Trade union rights for everyone, so also for all public services,
2. right to well-functioning public services,
3. right to speak for civil servants,
4. the right to social dialogue at European level for all public services,
5. right to the introduction of complaints against violations of the provisions of this new Charter.

On the way to a civil society, Christian social visions
Second European Social Week
6 - 9 April 2000 in Bad Honnef

The "First European Social Week" took place in Brussels in 1997. The aim of this conference was to develop further the notion of looking at Europe from the standpoint of Christian Social Teaching and to add an ethical, social slant to the process of European unification.

The "Second European Social Week" was scheduled to take place in Bad Honnef from 6th-9th April 2000. This week focused on ensuring that the Christian social perspective plays a strong part in forming the future of Europe.

Eurofedop participants: Fritz Neugebauer, vice-chairman; Wim Groeneweg en Wilhelm Gloss, members of the Executive Committee; Gerard De Koe, represantative of the Trade Council Post and Telecom; Bert Van Caelenberg, secretary general.

F.l.t.r.: Fritz Neugebauer, Wim Groeneweg, Bert Van Caelenberg, Wilhelm Gloss
This emphasis on the future of Europe is an indication of the continuing and growing importance of the organisational models which form the basis of a civil society. For this reason, the "Second European Social Week" focused on Christian social visions of a civil society and thereby contributed to the concrete elements contained in the definition of a "civil society".

The idea therefore of a "participating democracy" was especially important, because it is tightly bound up with the transition from the traditional work-oriented society to an occupation-oriented society. The latter demands a new understanding of work, one which has its basis in Christian Social Teaching, built on the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity.

The "Second European Social Week" was a platform for information and inspiration and form the beginning of a diverse network. So in this way we move along the path of Christian Social Teaching towards a European Civil Society.

On the basis of the objectives, the organisation committee had succeeded in getting a number of prominent speakers around the table. With Dr. K. Kaiser, secretary general of the World Council of Churches, and an opening speech by Prof. Romano Prodi, with Lech Walesa, former President of Poland, with Prof. E. Lazlo, chairman of the Club of Budapest, and the Europarliament Members Miet Smet and Maria Martens, this was a first success of the conference.

We as Eurofedop delegates have been pleasantly surprised by the feeling of shared values and the will to let the Christian social voice be heard, as appeared clearly from the activities at the workgroup sessions. To ascribe the success of the conference, only to its chairman D. Terpstra, would be exaggerated. But in any case, as CNV chairman, he gave proof of his concern for the European cause.

More than 30 countries, among which a large delegation from Eastern Europe, participated in the conference under the motto of "unity in diversity".

The speech of the ETUC delegate, in which the speaker did not fail to underline the "pluralistic position" of his organisation, mentioned the 3 agreements on particular social items which have been realised in recent years in Europe.

The communication on pluralism made some of us raise our eyebrows. This was not the occasion to start a debate on this, but a discussion may certainly take place on this matter in the future.

In the conclusions of the conference, the chairman spoke of the need for a strong State, capable of acting as care provider for the weaker in society. Traditional organisations must look for new paths to go on. This may be hindered by the incompleteness of democracies. But personal dedication, the establishment of networks and alliances, also through short-term projects, are necessary to have an influence on politics. From the closing speech by Monsignor A. Van Luyer, bishop of Rotterdam, I remember his attention for Christian social ethics and the standpoint he expects from the Church with regard to globalisation.

Eurofedop was given the opportunity, through its participation in the info-stand of EZA, to transmit documentation and communicate the results of its sessions, to a larger socially orientated audience in Europe. From our organisational experience, we have not failed to notice that the conference centre "Katholisch Soziales Institut" der Erzdiözese Köln is top class in Europe. The institutions of EZA, situated nearby in Königswinter, also had an important share in supporting the project. The board of EZA and its collaborators deserve to be given more recognition at European level. In any case, they may expect to receive this recognition from Eurofedop.


HEALLO meeting
Leuven, 4 April 2000

Eurofedop participated in a meeting of the HEALLO group. This meeting brought together a number of people responsible for running the health care sector in Europe, in the secretariat of the standing committee of Hospitals of the European Union, on 04/04/00 in Leuven.
EAS-"European Association Services". This organization, presented to us by Mr Terrance Barkan, wants to be a service organization for NGOs that are active in the health care sector and have insufficient means to run their own permanent secretariat.
Info :
A HOPE collaborator gave a survey of the research performed by this organization with respect to "European health care data". There is a need for correct and appropriate information. The subcommittee on Economics and Planning started a working party to explore possibilities in this field. Countries are differently organized. International definitions are very hard to find. Reason why the number of participating countries is not more than 8. Information on the Net :
For the first time, the chairman of EHMF (European Health Managers), José Antonio Souto, also participated in a meeting of the group.
Bert Van Caelenberg gave more information in his introduction about the results of the health care conference of Eurofedop in Madrid ‘99. He appealed to the responsible officials of HOPE, and the other employers’ organizations present, for creating a European committee, through the existing structures of HEALLO, by which the dialogue can be officialized, through the European Commission. This request was also transmitted later in writing.
An appointment has been made with "European Health Managers" to organize a meeting together with Esther Reyes Diez, chairwoman of the Trade Council Health Services.

Training on Informatics
Luxemburg, 16-17-18 March 2000

On 16, 17 and 18 March last, Eurofedop organized, with the very appreciated support of the European Commission, a workshop on informatics applications.
During these days, participants from various European countries were given an opportunity to get extensive information about the almost inexhaustible possibilities offered by present informatics applications.
Eurofedop fully recognizes the need for organizing the communication with its member organizations, and between the member organizations mutually, in a way that it corresponds with the modern developments of information technologies.
Indeed, for the optimum functioning of a European organization, the elaboration of an efficient informatics network has become indispensable. On the one hand, the system must be adapted to the need for searching the right and reliable information and, on the other, it must allow to analyse and discuss the information thus acquired, mutually between all those concerned within the organization, as quickly as possible.
Therefore, this workshop was organized, not only for specialists but also for beginners, in order to promote an elaborate discussion about the establishment of an appropriate informatics network between our member organizations.
The Commission also participated in the workshop, through its representative, Mr Gerard Hilbert, informatics officer at the DG for Employment and Social Affairs. The aim of his very appreciated intervention was to provide accurate information about how to deal efficiently with the information offered by the European Commission through the Internet.
Of course, Eurofedop must now evaluate this project and take appropriate measures, so that we will be able to put into practice the experiences that we acquired through this course, in a very near future.
It goes without saying that if Eurofedop wants to follow the evolutions in the field of informatics, we will have to repeat this initiative. Organizations that have not been able to participate in this session, will be given the opportunity of still participating in this initiative, of such a great value for our present trade union work.

Symposium of EUROFEDOP 27 - 29 January 2000

During a symposium in Lisbon on 27-29 January, around 500 participants from many European countries and from the other continents exchanged experiences on the theme "Public Services in Europe and in the world" and on their future role. After a survey of the developments and trends in the public services world-wide, in which the accent was on globalisation, privatisation and its unfavourable effects on the sector, the European union leaders presented a detailed survey per country. It appeared clearly that public services in Europe are going to a restructuring process.

The surveys revealed, further, strong differences between the West and the East European countries, as regards both positions and practice. Nevertheless, there are also similarities such as the privatisation of a number of public services following the liberalisation of the European market and the improvement of the functioning of the public authorities. The latter phenomenon is also related to the expectations of the citizens in the field of greater efficiency and transparency. The introduction of some management methods in the public office gave rise to passionate debates in view of the fact that those methods cannot be applied everywhere in the public services. The last day was devoted to a debate on the European Social Dialogue, a matter of permanent concern. The progress in this regard is very slow due to the fact that the Public Service as an employer fails to establish an acceptable political and legal representation at European level. Nor has the matter of trade union representativeness yet been settled, despite the fact the Commission has had the relevant files for a long time already. In the opinion of Eurofedop, it is high time some progress was made in this respect. The Symposium concluded that concrete actions would be taken to achieve this.
After this Symposium, the World Board discussed its working in the year to come.

EUROFEDOP establishes contacts with the Commission "PRODI"

Although Commissioner Kinnock figures high on the list of Commission Members, Eurofedop had political contacts with the Cabinet of Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Education and Culture, on Tuesday 18th January 2000.

The current and new projects Leonardo, Socrates and Youth for Europe were discussed, together with the general political programme of the Commissioner.

On behalf of Eurofedop, Bert Van Caelenberg concluded at the end of the conversation that the practical cooperation with the WCL trade unions that develop activities in this field, has to be further elaborated.

Eurofedop will examine, at its Executive Committee on 5th, 6th and 7th May 2000 in Madrid, which priorities it wishes to include in the discussion with Mrs Reding, later this year.

Bert Van Caelenberg wished the Commissioner personally a lot of success in the year 2000 and with the fulfilment of her mandate.


Reception at the Eurofedop office, 13/01/00

On 13th January last, an informal reception was organized at the Eurofedop office, Rue de Trèves 33, 1040 Brussels.
A great number of invitees had been invited, among whom Mr Jacques Santer (Former President of the European Commission) and Mr Thomas Ouchterlony (Head of the Liaison Office of the Council of Europe in Brussels), who were welcomed by President Guy Rasneur.
Subsequently, Secretary General Bert Van Caelenberg presented Eurofedop's new publication, the 6-monthly brochure "Servus", which henceforward will also be offered to the member organizations through the website.
Ludo Vekemans, Project Manager of Eurofedop, was then given the opportunity of providing explanation on the forthcoming colloquiums and seminars.
Mrs Beatriz Serrano Blasquez (responsible for international relations of the CSIF, Spain) was the last speaker, who gave more information about intercontinental relations.
This gathering ended in a friendly atmosphere, whereby the invitees were amply given the opportunity of making contacts and getting to know each other.



European Parliament Members' profile setting
December session 1999

Through the agenda and activities of the December session, more and more profile was given to the new members.

The commission of foreign affairs, human rights, common security and defence policy discussed the affiliation of Cyprus, Malta and the relations with Slovakia.

An expert here is a former speaker at our trade council Justice, Hubert Pirker (Austria).

The head of social matters is Bartho Pronk (Netherlands).

Women's issues, and the mobilization of women to enrich scientific research, was supported by Miet Smet (Belgium) in her intervention.

ACP, Africa could rely on the involvement and experience of Johan Van Hecke (Belgium).

The Members of Parliament and their collaborators are kindly invited to get acquainted with our year programme for 2000, during a work-lunch that we offer to them, on 13th January, in our office in the Rue de Trèves 33, 1040 Brussels.

Have you not received a personal invitation ? Sorry, please let us know by e-mail :

You are all most welcome !