Training seminar for trade union delegates in Romania
Romania - Eforie Nord - 24-25/06/2002

On 24 and 25 June, our Belgian member organisation CCOD organised a training seminar for trade union delegates from the public sector, members of "Cartel Alfa", in Romania.
Teamwork, meeting techniques, working methods, together with information on social and industrial dialogue, were the themes of the session.
Kristien Van der Gucht, secretary of the Trade Council Local Authorities, and Ann Vermorgen, could experience that there is much good will among the participants.
This seminar, that gathered as many women as men, will be further evaluated and this kind of bilateral contacts set up between trade unions affiliated to Eurofedop also deserves your attention and moral support.

Declaration
(Draft)

Delegations from trade unions representing the interests of workers in the Police and the Border Police of Germany, Austria, Croatia and Slovakia, as well as trade unions from the Ministry of the Interior of the Hungarian Republic, all members of Eurofedop, came together for a joint consultation, on 1st October 2002, at the Central Commanding Office of the Border Police in Budapest. For the Executive Committee, Igor Lensky was present as Vice-President of Eurofedop for Central and Eastern Europe.
The participants of the consultation reached an agreement on future co-operation and the co-ordination of common tasks.
The enlargement of the European Union puts high demands on the joint task of guaranteeing public security and the responsibility to be borne by each country with regard to the protection of the outer borders of the European Union. Consequently, the trade union representatives, present in Budapest, were of the opinion that the co-ordination of common tasks is an extremely important mission.
The delegations agreed to have regular consultation meetings and to pursue a co-ordinated policy for the defence of the interests of the personnel of the Police, the Border Police, the Fire Brigades and the Civil Protection.
The participants declared to support the development and reinforcement of the organisation in the sectors of public security and border protection in the countries that will join the European Union. They believed it to be necessary that all measures in relation to the extension of the European Union, for instance the development of outer border controls and the taking over of European security norms, should be supported by financial means provided by the European Union.
The organisations in charge of ensuring security in the candidate countries and the staff of these organisations should be prepared for the task of ensuring security in accordance with the security norms as they exist in the European Union. This puts high demands on training and further training and the organisational structure that will still have to be developed.
The participants of the consultation were convinced that the working conditions and service conditions of the personnel of Security Services and Border Protection will have to get shape in accordance with the tasks that these personnel have to fulfil, and the salary conditions in accordance with the demands that these personnel have to satisfy. A comparable remuneration for the personnel of Security Services and Border Protection over the whole of the European Union should be the aim.
The delegations concluded that the support given by the member states of the European Union to the candidate countries in the field of public security and border protection is very essential and judged that this support is successful.
The trade union representatives agreed that the juridical framework and working conditions for the defence of the interests of the workers should be the same for all trade unions in the European Union, but especially for those in the sectors of security and border protection. They called upon the international interest groups, the European police union EPU and Eurofedop, to effectively work for the achievement of this.
The delegations also expressed great appreciation towards the Hungarian Border Protection for the efforts it makes, with the development of Hungary’s outer borders as future outer borders of the European Union, to establish high security norms. They considered it important that the Hungarian Border Protection is given sufficient political and financial support by the Hungarian Government and Ministry of the Interior so that it can respond to the future demands.
The representatives of the Hungarian Border Protection Union and the Federal Republic’s Border Police Union announced that they jointly agreed to hold a conference on the situation of the Border Police in Central and Eastern Europe and the working and living conditions of the staff in this sector, in September 2003 in Budapest.
Budapest, 1st October 2002

SEMINAR EUROFEDOP / URSH / WCT
20-22.09.2002, Pula (Croatia)
MESSAGE

"Social charter and social dialogue : role of the European Union and the Council of Europe in a social Europe"

From 20 to 22 September, a seminar took place for the members of the URSH (Workers’ Trade Union Association of Croatia) in Pula (Croatia).
The theme of this initiative that was set up in collaboration with the WCT (World Confederation of Teachers), was : "Social charter and social dialogue : role of the European Union and the Council of Europe in a social Europe".
A number of experts had been invited to give explanation on the various subjects. Thus Mr Gaston Delahay (WCT) spoke about the Council of Europe and Mr Johan Vermeire (Eurofedop) about the "European Social Charter. A treaty of the Council of Europe to protect Human Rights".
During the second day, the focus was on social dialogue.
Prof. Dr. Vlado Puljiz (Chair of Social Policy, Law School, University of Zagreb) spoke about the "Social situation and reforms in Croatia".
Mr Bert Van Caelenberg (Secretary General of Eurofedop) gave explanation about sectoral dialogue and gave a survey of the actions and results of Eurofedop at sectoral level.

Mr Helmut Skala (GÖD-FCG) referred to the importance of European social dialogue as force for information and change.
Dr. Igor Lensky spoke from his experience and as Vice-President of Eurofedop for Central and Eastern Europe, about the "Development of the role of social dialogue in the pre-accession strategy".
The aim of the seminar to become together partners in European social dialogue, has certainly been reached. More broadly still, the discussions and very active participation of the delegates of URSH and of the teachers’ trade union WCT showed the necessity for a real social dialogue in Croatia. We shall take initiatives by which the ratification of the Social Charter by the Parliament of Croatia may be accelerated.
The teachers’ trade unions will intensify their contacts with the WCT (Europe).
Delegates of URSH will participate in the trade councils on 20-22.11.2002 in Luxemburg, where, together with the trade councils’ members, they will continue to work on the integration of their organisation into the European trade union struggle.
BVC

THE WCL ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE IN STRATEGIES OF IFIS

From 21st to 23rd October trade union leaders of 92 organisations linked to the WCL and to Global Unions met in Washington to challenge at the highest level, the World Bank and IMF on their policies. The debates centred, among others, on privatisation, poverty reduction, reforms in international financial structure, international labour standards and debt reduction for third world countries.
Such a meeting is indeed an important element since trade unions do not often get the opportunity to meet IMF/WB missions at this level.
The WCL was able to reaffirm right away its desire to see the IMF and the World Bank clarify their objectives, since a change in strategy is absolutely necessary. Let us be clear, in view of the scope of the social crisis affecting the whole world, the IFIs should admit that their solutions have not been at the height of expectations. It is time for the IMF and the World Bank to adapt their measures to the real world context, to listen to the third world and to take into consideration the issue of international labour standards. The will to integrate a dimension focused on the rights of workers into IMF and World Bank policies must be a concrete reality.

AGAINST AN IMPOSED MODEL OF PRIVATISATION

If the trade union leaders present in Washington questioned IMF and World Bank policies, they did not do so without reason. Trade unions want these policies to be democratically debated and guarantee the accessibility, quality and efficiency of these services and also that the policies are not linked to an imposed model of privatisation throughout the world. Moreover, it is important that each stakeholder, be it at the national or international level, assumes his responsibility for these policies which generate social exclusion. More democracy, more transparency, more participation within the Bretton Woods institutions, that are, according to trade unions, the factors which can contribute to improving social justice. The IFIs declare that it is important to privatise to break State monopoly. Is the solution then to create private monopolies?


Situation of the workers in telecommunication companies in Croatia and Slovakia

Representatives from the highest level of unions of EUROFEDOP from Germany (DPVKOM), Slovakia (SOZPT) and Croatia (RSR HPT) met each other on 15 May 2002 in Bonn, where they discussed the situation of the workers in telecommunication companies in. They approved the following resolution :
1. The workers and the trade unions in Slovakia are not at all satisfied with the way social dialogue functions in their country. In Croatia, there is even no social dialogue. This leads to problems in telecommunication companies that could be avoided.
2. Each day, the employment and social future of the workers in both countries are reason for greater concern, because of the regular breaches that are committed against the labour laws and the collective bargaining agreements in these countries. Moreover, this has negative effects on the image of Deutsche Telekom, that is majority shareholder in Croatia and Slovakia.
3. In Slovakia, one has to note that many workers have lost their job, after the majority has been taken over by Deutsche Telekom. This tendency is observed with much concern in Croatia, where the representatives of Deutsche Telekom in the management of Croatian Telecom (HT) proceed in almost the same way as the representatives of DT in the management of Slovakian Telecom.

4. From the company results, that are getting worse and worse, it becomes clear that the administrative bodies in these shareholding companies work ineffectively, not in line with the expectations. Due to the bad results, the employment and social future of the workers in Croatia and Slovakia are put in danger.
The trade unions insist on an improvement of the situation in Croatia and Slovakia and also demand that Deutsche Telekom lends its support to this.

Jan Martinovic Jadranko Vehar Horst Saeffaerth
President SOZPT President RSR HPT Vice-President DPVKOM


MEETING BETWEEN THE TROIKA OF THE DIRECTORS GENERAL RESPONSIBLE FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND THE TRADE UNIONS
Madrid, 13th June 2002

It was nearly the whole Daily Management Board of EUROFEDOP that took part in the meeting between the TROIKA of the Directors General responsible for public administration and the trade unions, on 13th June 2002 in Madrid, under the Spanish presidency.
The EPSU and USSP/CESI were also present with a strong delegation.
Due to the large number of subjects on the agenda and the particularly dense information that had to be given, little time was left for a debate.
The meeting was mainly focussed on the communication of the RESOLUTION OF THE MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (RIOJA), whereby the Ministers confirm the action programme that was established by the Directors General, during their meeting on 27 and 28 May 2002 in Rioja.
Human Resources
The Ministers consider the human resources as the basic axis for the modernisation of the Public Administrations and urge the directors general to continue their efforts, within the Human Resources group, to adapt the Public Services to the demographic evolution of our societies and incorporate in their management the new information and communication technologies.
In this context, they stress the importance of initial and continuous training.
Innovative Public Services
The Ministers are convinced that the provision of Quality Public Services is one of the basic pillars on which the action of the European Public Administration has to be established.
They welcome the organisation of the Second Quality Conference for Public Administration in the European Union that will take place in Copenhagen in October 2002.
They ask that the Directors General would study the possibility of establishing a regular periodicity for the holding of this kind of events.
They underline the need of further developing the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) in order to improve the quality of the administrative organisations and entrust the Directors General with the implementation of this CAF.
They support the work that is performed in this respect, in particular the efforts to establish a European network of comparison and assessment (EBN, European Benchmarking Network) regarding the best administrative practices.
They favour the launching of further initiatives to generalise the use of performance indicators.
e-Government
The Ministers affirm their commitment to the electronic delivery of public services by 2005.
They will continue the sharing of experiences on issues relating to internal re-organisation of public administrations and agree on the need for policy coherence at the European Union level in the area of electronic identification and authentication.
They recognise the need to co-ordinate and strengthen the participation of all levels of public administrations (local, regional, national, European) and the private sector.
Better Regulation
The MANDELKERN report makes a series of recommendations for the realisation of better regulation, which is a high priority for the well functioning of the Union, also in view of the enlargement.
The Ministers request that the Mandelkern group would regularly report on its action plan and on the results of the implementation of better regulation tools for the quality of negotiation in the Member States.

Enlargement of the European Union
The next enlargement of the EU will have a remarkable incidence in the development of the co-operation programmes on this matter.
The Ministers invite the candidate countries to participate in a meeting with the Directors General under the Danish presidency.
Social Dialogue
The Ministers recognise the importance of social dialogue and encourage the Directors General to continue the exchange of information with European Trade Unions through meetings set up by the Troika.
They urge the Commission to finalise the study regarding the representativeness of the Trade Unions within the European Union.
Work areas that the Human Resources group (Directors General) must tackle with priority from now until the 31st of December 2003
1. The reduction and elimination of the existing formal and informal barriers to free movement between Public Administrations of the Member States (the requirement of a given nationality, the recognition of diplomas, of seniority and of professional experience).
2. The impact of the new information and communication technologies on the Human Resources needs and the Human Resources management.
3. The incidence of the demographic evolution (the ageing population) of the Member States and their civil services in the labour market of the Administrations, with the increase of services to be provided and the loss of forces through retirements. This issue should be related with the study on the factors that determine on the attractiveness of public employment, whereby special attention should be paid to the evolution in the field of pay-to-performance remuneration systems .
4. The needs as regards training will have to receive particular attention.
PRIORITIES OF THE DANISH PRESIDENCY
The agenda of the Danish presidency for the second half of 2002 contains the following priorities :
- The second public service quality conference that will be organised in Copenhagen from 2nd to 4th October 2002.
- The further development of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) by which the quality of administrative organisations can be evaluated.
- The determination of a simplified reporting procedure for the transmission of information on "e-government".
- As regards Human Resources management, the focus will be on the question of the mobility of the workers (removal of the obstacles that prevent the mobility) and the consequences of the ageing working population (incidence of demographic evolutions on the recruitment policies).
A meeting of the Troika and the trade union organisations should take place in November 2002.
J-PD


State of affairs KPN Telecom Netherlands
KPN Telecom

At the end of 2001, the workers of KPN Telecom were confronted with the dramatic financial situation, due to which more than 4800 jobs had to be deleted. In consultation with the trade unions, in order to accompany the people whose job would be lost, a social plan was elaborated.
Situation now : more than 2300 workers have made use of the possibility to leave the company voluntarily, with financial compensation, or to go on early retirement. Others have faced collective dismissal, whereby, on the basis of their age and time of service, they receive a supplement with their unemployment benefit. They are also given assistance in their attempt to find another job within or outside KPN. In order to finance this social plan, workers will be given no increase of salary in the period from 1st January 2001 to 1st January 2004. This includes the top of KPN and the higher management. For compensation, employers of KPN Telecom receive options in the company that, however, will only become executionable as of 1st January 2004.
The reduction with more than 4800 jobs is up to schedule. KPN Telecom is more or less recovering financially, but a lot of work is still to be done if the company is to be kept in operation and in shape. The banks have granted credits to KPN Telecom, so that the company is now in a financial position to continue with its ordinary business.
Consultation takes place each week between the trade unions and KPN Telecom on various intentions of KPN to reject or sell company segments. Thus, more than 10,000 workers have been transferred in the meantime to other companies or other employers. Nevertheless, these workers remain under the collective bargaining agreement of KPN until 1st January 2004, which means that they will get no salary improvement and will only be confronted with the possible negative effects of their transfer to another collective bargaining agreement, at the end of 2003.

This leads to great tensions among the workers concerned and, therefore, the trade unions have to put a lot of effort in convincing their members that the concluded agreements are defendable.
The KPN personnel are in a fairly negative mood. They have no confidence in the policy followed by the top of KPN and are worried about the future. In view of the malaise in the telecom sector, they wonder if KPN Telecom is financially strong enough to survive as an independent company.
Call Centre activities
In 2002, KPN Call Centre merged with and was sold to SNT. SNT is a private company that is the market leader in this sector in the Netherlands. SNT is expanding its services to other countries in Europe. Thus it is active in e.g. Germany and France. The merger of both companies has great consequences for the working conditions of the workers concerned. Not less than 5 collective bargaining agreements have to be woven into one new collective bargaining agreement whereby the level of working conditions in those agreements lies considerably under the present level. This causes great commotion among the workers concerned and the negotiations that have been held until now on the establishment of a new agreement are hardly progressing and will certainly take a few months more. Also, the employment in this company stands under great pressure, due to the malaise in the telecom sector. There is no question yet of forced dismissal.
Den Haag, 19th June 2002


Press communiqué
European Police Union - EPU : Security has no borders
Luxemburg, 20-VI-2002

European Police Trade Union presents demands to the Council of the European Union in Sevilla
Europe is facing a high immigration pressure, a pressure that will even increase in the years to come. For this reason, the security at the outer borders of an enlarging Europe has become an essential pillar of the EU’s immigration policy. The problem is how charges will have to be distributed between the inner and the outer borders of the Union. The priority of police work will have to be put on illegal immigration, all the more so as organised crime, by making ill use of the social distress situation that people are in, makes enormous benefits by the smuggle and trade of human beings and the trade in narcotics. It is Europe’s mission however to offer a shelter to all who, in fear for their lives, have to flee their country.
The European Police Union welcomes the reforms of European police services, if the trade unions as representatives of the people who are subject to these reforms, are involved in this process. In the last decade, profound police reforms have taken place, especially in the Netherlands, the German border police as federal police and Belgium. Especially the officers of the German border police have been massively affected by the transfer to other posts, more than 100 kilometres from their original posts. In France and in Austria, far-reaching reforms are imminent or are already being executed in the gendarmerie and the police.

However, a first concern with every reform effort should be that it will not harm the social interests of the workers concerned. Therefore, this requires the urgent involvement of the police trade unions. In any case, reforms must be clear as to the definition of authority and competence.
The European Police Union - EPU - groups police trade unions from thirteen European states and is part of the European Federation of Employees in the Public Service - EUROFEDOP, that has its seat in Brussels, Belgium. The chairman of the EPU is the Austrian Herman Feiner, his deputies are the Frenchman Jean-Claude Delage and the German Knut Paul. The executive secretary is the Dutchman Wim Groeneweg.
For additional information :
1) Hermann Feiner, EPU chairman, GÖD-Presse, Tel. N° : +43/1/534-54/233 or 0644/501-39-56
2) Wim Groeneweg, ACP, Tel. N° : +31/33/495-28-88
3) Knut Paul, Bundesgrenzschutz-Verband, Tel. N° : +49/30/446-78-721
4) Jean-Claude Delage, Alliance, Tel. N° : +33/1/44-76-96-70
5) Bert Van Caelenberg, Secretary General of EUROFEDOP, Tel. N° : +32/2/230-38-65


Turkey’s Progress towards EU membership
25 June 2002, Brussels

The enlargement of the EU is more than high level meetings in Sevilla or negotiations behind embassy-doors. For a number of years now, Eurofedop is working on a daily basis with its members in among others Malta, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovakia.
In light of this experience Secretary-General Bert Van Caelenberg gladly accepted an invitation by the Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Maritime Commerce and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) to attend a conference on Turkey’s progress towards EU membership. Speakers at this occasion were among others Mesut Yilmaz, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Michael Leigh, Director in the Directorate General for Enlargement (European Commission) and Haluk Kaalioglu, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Yeditepe University.
The Accession Partnership was signed in 2001 and set out a list of political, legal and economic steps to be taken by Turkey to prepare for EU membership.

Some of these are technical and others are economic. The more important and more difficult steps however, are political. Ms. Loyola de Palacio, Vice President of the European Commission assured the participants that Turkey will be treated like any other applicant country.
Many speakers emphasised the enormous progress Turkey has made in recent years. Dr. Rumpf, Bamberg University concluded that in the field of fundamental human rights (freedom of opinion, association and trade unions) much has changed. On 1 January 2002, the new Civil Code came into force guaranteeing the equality of sexes.
During this conference it became clear that Turkey takes its status as applicant country very serious and is on its way to incorporate the Acquis. Of course Eurofedop will continue to monitor the developments, especially regarding the social chapter of the Acquis.


European Ministerial Conference on "Information Society and Connecting Europe"
Ljubljana (Slovenia), 3-4 June

As a follow-up to previous Eurofedop seminars in Göteborg ("Impact of new Technologies on Employment in the Public Services") and Fredericia ("Lifelong learning/elearning"), Secretary General Bert Van Caelenberg was invited by Mr. Pavel Gantar, Minister of Information Society from Slovenia, to attend the European Ministerial Conference in Ljubljana. The speakerslist of this high-profile meeting included among others: Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner for Enterprise and IS, Baudilio Tomé-Muguruza, State Secretary for Telecommunications and IS (Spain), Reinhardt Posch, Federal Ministry of Public Service and Sport (Austria), Krzyztof Heller, Under-secretary of State for Telecommunications (Poland), and many more.

At the Göteborg Summit (June 2001) the Heads of Government of the EU Candidate Countries launched the eEurope+ Action Plan. In particular, eEurope+ recognises that there is a basic need to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable communications services in order to avoid a digital divide. Moreover the Candidate Countries agreed to compare and contrast progress in this field.

Subsequently the Slovenian government and DG Information Society jointly organised this European Ministerial Conference based upon the first eEurope+ Progress Report. Several topics were addressed:
- the role of governments, industry and financial institutions
- current developments in implementing a knowledge-based economy
- broadband, universal service and internet security

In the session devoted to "Information society policy and emerging services at a local level", one of the speakers was Ms. Ingrid Götzl, President of Telecities. Telecities is an open network of local authorities and businesses created in 1993 to promote a balance between economic competitiveness and social needs, in terms of contributing to employment growth, urban regeneration and a better quality of services to the citizen by local authorities.

During the conference the invited mayors of local and European cities have expressed their commitment to promoting the development of e-services on the local level by signing a declaration entitled: "Mayors of the World for a Global Cities Dialogue on Information Society". By signing the declaration, the mayors have made a personal commitment to actively participate in the development of projects and policy from the Global Cities Dialogue initiative, which is a world-wide initiative to enhance the information society and to strengthen the role of cities in developing local democracy and improving local government services in order to accelerate local level development.

More information can be found at:
http://emcis.gov.si
http://www.telecities.org
http://www.globalcitiesdialogue.org


Dutch union for military personnel ACOM celebrates 100 anniversary
30 May-1 June, Veldhoven (NL)

During a three-day congress in Veldhoven, the Dutch union will look back at the past century but the participants will also be invited to look forward. Since this celebration is organised in co-operation with the European Federation for Employees in the Public Services the developments in the European security and defence policy will be addressed.

For the occasion ACOM has published a book which analyses the history but also the developments within the Dutch military. Wijnand van der Linden, president of ACOM, concludes that the last decade has seen cuts in the budget, which are unacceptable because they are at the expense of the personnel. "Srebrenica has showed that it is impossible to continue peacekeeping missions throughout the world with a lack of training and proper equipment."

A second theme are the fundamental basic rights for military personnel. The European Treaty on Human Rights and the European Social Charter have not resulted until today in giving fundamental basic trade union rights to the personnel of the military in France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain and the United Kingdom.


The guestlist for this meeting includes Mr. Frank de Grave, former Minister of Defence of the Netherlands, Willi Russ, Vice-President of Eurofedop, Capt. Hank Ort, European Union Military Staff, Lieutenant-Admiral Luuk Kroon, Chief of Defence Staff (Netherlands), Bartho Pronk, Member of the European Parliament (Netherlands) and many more.

Other themes that will be discussed are:
1. Social Dialogue in the public sector in a further integrating Europe
2. Development of a European security and defence policy
3. Fundamental rights in Europe for the personnel of the public services

The basic document "European Social Dialogue and European Security and Defence Policy" and agenda for this congress can be acquired through the Eurofedop secretariat.


News from our Postal Service Union in the United States"

In 1970 the US-government reorganised the United States Postal Service from a traditional government agency to a quasi-independent agency. Although it is called on to operate as a business, its mission calls on it to fulfil a role customary to government. Currently the Postal Service has submitted its "Transformation Plan" calling for the restructuring of the organisation as a Commercial Government Enterprise. The main reason for this plan and the proposed refashioning of mandate is the $1.2 billion deficit.

James McGee, President of the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees (NAPFE) agrees that the Postal Service cannot continue like this but "because we agree on the need it does not necessarily follow that we agree on the means. Transformation cannot be at the expense of workers or customers".

NAPFE excepts reform only within the context of government reform (including a universal service) and refuses to sacrifice the Postal Services to the incomplete promise of the marketplace. Moreover NAPFE advocates better training for employees. More time and resources devoted to training should ensure that the Postal Services can compete fairly against private companies.

The United States Postal Service is a vital organ of the Federal Government and an integral part of the infrastructure. NAPFE has announced it will step up its lobby with the American Congress to protect the rights of workers as well as customers.

More information can be found at www.napfe.com/postal_transformation.htm


SPECIAL SESSION WITH THE WORLD BANK, INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
ON THE REVIEW OF THE POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY PAPERS (PRSPs)
ACP HOUSE, 17 MAY 2002

The aim of the meeting was to proceed to an exchange of views with the ACP Committee of Ambassadors and other invitees (among whom INFEDOP) on the new facts that have resulted from the review of the PRSPs and other programmes for the reduction of poverty.
The World Bank and the IMF are examining the provisions of the PRSPs in the light of what have been the principal conclusions of their internal process of review and the commitments that have been taken at the recent Monterrey Conference on Financing for Development.
Thus representatives of the World Bank, the Monetary Fund and the EU gave their opinions on the subject of the meeting.
They agreed that now that 2 years have gone by since the consultation phase started, results have to be achieved on the ground. Although the EU has supported the strategy from the beginning, it also wishes to make a number of remarks regarding the implementation.
The ACP countries see the plans as one more thing that they are confronted with and that they have to react adequately to, if they want to or not. As representative of the employees of the public service, Bert Van Caelenberg referred to the reform and restriction measures that are imposed on the national administrations, e.g. in Africa.

And this while these same players, World Bank and Monetary Fund, complain that their donors cannot be sufficiently guaranteed that projects will be effectively executed.
What is the use of making agreements about "good governance" and "best practices" in Monterrey if the countries in question do not even have a basic administration ? Much too often, countries that want to deal with poverty and mobilise the grassroots forces in their country for this purpose, have to note afterwards that the help that was promised to them, will not be given.
The exchange of views was very instructive to all parties. As delegate of INFEDOP, I continue to have questions, like the delegate of the EU, about the further evolution of the PRSPs. These can only become real instruments if all parties and in the first place the World Bank, the Monetary Fund and the EU really co-ordinate their plans. But what about the donors ? Will their culture also change with this ? Or will their principle remain : first business ... ?


Economic and Social Committee:
Meeting 11/04/2002 "Services of General Interest"

As a follow-up to its "Report to the Laeken European Council" (Com(2001) 598), the European Commission asked the Economic and Social Committee (ESC) to draw up an exploratory opinion on the services of general interest in the European Union.
Subsequently, on 11 April, Eurofedop was invited to present its view to the study-group of the ESC, with workers and employers and representatives of the European institutions. Since the 10th Eurofedop Congress had just adopted a number of resolutions regarding the future of the public services, the Eurofedop delegates Bert Van Caelenberg, Wilhelm Gloss and Jean-Paul Devos were very well equipped for this task. And although less institutionalised than for example the ‘directors-general troika’, this meeting can certainly qualify as social dialogue.
In its preliminary draft opinion, the ESC agreed that the services of general interest "play a vital role in the daily lives of citizens and are one of the values underlying the European social model" and concluded that "if the process of political and economic integration within the European Union is to move forward, a series of measures is needed".

These measures include benchmarking, closer co-operation, a well-defined legal status and a new framework Directive. The latter in line with the Eurofedop demand for a solid juridical framework.
There was a consensus in the meeting and nearly all participants agreed with the points raised by the Eurofedop delegation. Only the public transport and energy industry representatives still have problems with the universal service obligations. Finally, the ESC called for the consultation and participation of workers and their representatives in the modernisation of the services of general interest.
Ultimately, this meeting and the final opinion of the ESC should help the Commission to draw up a number of proposals for the next Intergovernmental Conference in 2004 and thus give the public services a more solid basis within the Community law. All relevant documents are available at the Eurofedop secretariat and more information on the Economic and Social Committee can be found at www.esc.eu.int


Report
How "Green" is Public Procurement in the EU?

Public procurement in the EU accounts for an estimated 1000 bn Euro and covers numerous goods and services. As the opinion of the European Court of Justice in the Helsinki bus case shows there is a possibility to take into account environmental considerations when granting contracts. Currently the European Commission is preparing a directive to amend the public procurement rules and help public authorities in the EU to integrate environmental considerations into their procurement procedures.
On Thursday 18 April, NGO’s, trade unions, representatives of the European institutions, regional authorities and the industry gathered for a one-day conference regarding green procurement. Eurofedop and especially the trade council local and regional authorities was represented by Bert Van Caelenberg.
The purpose of this conference was to identify what the amount of green procurement activity in the EU is, how this is implemented by Member-States and regions and secondly to determine the role of the European Commission in stimulating green procurement.

A case study on traffic paint proved that also trade unions should have an interest in this matter. In the US, hazardous solvent-based traffic paint has now been almost replaced by water-based paints. In Europe, water-based paints have only a 10% market share, partly due to difficulties in the public procurement procedures.
Most participants had reservations about the Commission proposal. Public authorities for example feel they lack the proper know-how to design the environmental specifications at the beginning of the procurement process. Other participants demanded more specific environmental considerations and social criteria (employment protection provisions and working condition provisions) to be included.
The trade council local and regional authorities will cover further developments in this field. All documents of this meeting can be obtained through the Eurofedop secretariat.


Social Dialogue Committee Postal Services
Plenary Session
Brussels, 22 April 2002

The European Federation of Employees in the Public Services was represented at this plenary session, which was held on 22 April, by Elisabeth Kopp (Germany), Eddie de Nayer (Belgium), Alfred Lohman (Netherlands) and Secretary General Bert Van Caelenberg.
Most important item for Eurofedop was the study on employment requested by the Committee. The latest news on this rather controversial topic was that now also the employers doubt the method used by the researchers. A workshop will be organised on 7 May to facilitate a discussion between employers, trade unions and the researchers. Next will be a discussion within the working group Employment and the presentation in the plenary session.
Regarding the amended directive on further liberalisation, the Committee asked the Commission to be included in the discussion about the consequences for employment, as demanded by the European Parliament.

The working group Training reported to the plenary session on its activities. Currently, the creation of a website has priority but the trade unions asked the working group to explore new possibilities, especially given the fact that the representative of the Commission confirmed financing new initiatives.
Furthermore the Committee discussed the contents of the next conference on Enlargement which will be co-ordinated by the corresponding working group.
Finally, the Committee expects it will be granted the possibility to give its comments on the Green Paper on Social Corporate Responsibility.
A next plenary session is scheduled 20 November and of course all documents of the above-mentioned meeting are available at the Eurofedop secretariat.


EU Enlargement : The Key Questions
25th April 2002
Brussels (Concernt Noble)

Under this title, a well-attended conference took place on 25/04/02 in Brussels.
As speakers for this conference, Günter Verheugen, European Commissioner for the Enlargement, and Ion Iliesen, President of Romania, had been invited.
The topics were :
- What will ensure enlargement is a success ?
- What breakthroughs and deadlocks are on the negotiation table ?
- Could business and public opinion hit the enlargement process ?
Whereas the Commissioner kept to the legal matter and also gave information about the state of the negotiations, President Iliesen was more direct. Part of his speech was dedicated to the social cohesion. He insisted that the political deficit of Europe would be dealt with through participation of the citizen.
As a result of its contacts during many years in the new countries, Eurofedop insisted, by the mouth of secretary general Bert Van Caelenberg, that more attention would be given during a next meeting to the subjects of :
- Civil Dialogue and Good Governance,
- Partnership for Social and Economic Development,
- Freedom and Security in the Age of Terrorism.

Enlargement is just the beginning of a series of new challenges for the EU. Once the accession negotiations have been settled and the treaty ratified, the Union will have to take radical measures to ensure that the enlarged EU works in a way that is both efficient and democratic. The Dehaene Report sums up the benefits of enlargement : "Enlargement will lead to greater economies of scale in a larger market with a greater variety of goods and services... Greater investment, an increase in productivity and the benefits of more efficient allocation of resources and greater economies will increase the rate of growth in the CEECs while current members, especially those bordering the new member states, will profit from the increased wealth and consumption in these countries."
There are, however, some unresolved questions. General elections are due this year in six member states, notably France and Germany, and in three candidate countries. Will the growing scepticism about enlargement and the rise of right-wing, xenophobic elements in some member states erode the political will to push enlargement through on time ?


A globalização A administração pública e o futuro
Study days

Under this title, our Portuguese member organisation STE will organise study days on 17-18/05 in Lisbon and on 20-21/05 in Porto.
Among the guest speakers at this conference, we note Luc Hamelinck, vice-president of Eurofedop, and Jean-Paul Devos, chairman of the trade council Ministries.

The themes of these study days are closely connected to the Eurofedop Congress of March last.
More information can be found on the website : www.ste.pt


PostEurop – Customer Forum
Brussels, Renaissance Hotel, 27.03.2002, 09:30 – 16:00
"Developing standards: a joint effort for mutual benefits"

On 27/03/2002, the "Customer Forum" was organised in Brussels. This conference, organised by PostEurop, was directed by Marc Pauw, secretary general, and discussed the subject of "Developing standards : a joint effort for mutual benefits".
About ten speakers-experts had come to express their ideas about the evolution in the postal sector, among whom Paul Waterschoot, DG Internal Market, European Commission.
He gave an outline of the second postal directive. The application of the second directive has become possible, through the adoption of this text in the European Parliament on 13/03. Now the Council has to proceed to a second reading, after which one can assume that the directive will be adopted in May 2002. Mr Waterschoot also spoke about a number of complaints regarding the free postal market.

During the discussion, it became obvious that there is still a lot of confusion about the extent of the universal service provision. According to Mr Waterschoot, the universal service provision is an advantage to the operator who is in charge of it. He certainly does not see it as a cost.
The text of this important speech can be obtained by our postal members at the secretariat of Eurofedop.

BVC