Audition with Commissioner Bolkestein
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.
Seminar : Whos afraid of European Documentation ?
1st Conference on the Quality of Public Administration
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 todays 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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 todays 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.
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 Womans 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 councils 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 Governments 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 Womans Department
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 dont 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
- 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 wasnt 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.
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 Maltas 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 : http://www.ghq-ch.com.
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 : http://engsif.lf.se/sif/.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 : email@example.com.
You are all most welcome !