|Eurofedop held a colloquium in Athens, Greece, on the 3rd-5th
of April last year with themes such as Mobility – CAF/EQM –
Pensions. During the Greek presidency in 2003, the "modernisation of
the European Social Model" and the strengthening of the efficiency
of the Lisbon Strategy have already been intensely discussed. Since, the
challenge of an ageing population and its implications for the maintenance
of adequate and sustainable pensions is only growing, Eurofedop provides
you with a short report on the Seminar ‘A Balancing Act : Achieving
Adequacy and Sustainability in Retirement Income Reform’, that took
place on the 4th of March 2004 and that was co-hosted by the Centre for
European Policy Studies (CEPS) and AARP Global Aging Programme. Leading
policy makers, business and labour decision makers, and pension experts
debated whether and under what conditions it would be possible to achieve
both adequate and sustainable retirement security, and how to assess the
political climate for reform.
Eurofedop’s representative Marieke van der Wilk attended the first half of the morning session at the Astoria Hotel in Brussels. On behalf of Eurofedop, she presents here the most important remarks that were made at the seminar.
The issue debated at the seminar was, according to Nancy Leamond, director of the AARP’s global ageing program, an issue that the whole developed world is facing : the sustainability and adequacy of retirement income. According to Mrs Leamond, this issue does not only have implications on the world’s financial system, but also on the financial safety and security of millions of older people around the world. The focus of the seminar was on how governments should address retirement income in this context, as policy makers are only just beginning to address demographic changes of which the impact may be broad and revolutionary. Mrs Leamond held the following opinion : ‘It is a balancing act : between what is politically feasible in the short term - when reforms are relatively mild - and later, when changes will be more painful but with political action necessitated by crisis’.
Mr Theo Langejan, chairman of the Social Protection Committee of the European Union, held a presentation on the following question : is it robbing Peter to pay Paul ? With this question, Mr Langejan referred to the current debate on the future of pension systems which simply pitches the interests of one generation against those of another : the active against the retired, the young against the old, Paul against Peter. The discussion takes places according to the so-called ‘Open Method of Coordination’, a type of cooperation on pension issues that is established at EU level and is inspired by the policy coordination in the areas of economic and employment policies.
The heart of the open method of coordination consists
of 11 common objectives which are shared by all Member States, with the
aim to structure the presentation of their national strategies for adequate
and sustainable pensions. You can find all the details of the first round
of national strategy reports as well as the Joint Report on ‘Adequate
and sustainable pensions’, which is presented by the Commission
and the Council, on the following website
For more than a decade, Eurofedop, through its trade council Health Services and its frequent contacts with MEPs, has been very active on the issue of the working time. An issue which is crucial for the health and safety of workers, the quality of the service provided and the reconciliation of work and family life.
More encouraging was the report and resolution of the European Parliament
adopted 29th January. The resolution underlines the importance of the
wider issues involved such as the quality and financing in the health
sector. Moreover the resolution insists "that the health and safety
of workers and the reconciliation of family and professional life must
not be subordinated to considerations of an economic nature".Even
more important is the fact that the MEPs refer to the basic reason for
a revision of the Working Time Directive namely that the use of the opt-out
is "fully against the intentions of the directive and therefore undesirable
More info on working time:
Conference venue: Hotel Reval Lietuva, Vilnius, Lithuania
|3. PANEL SESSION AND FORUMS
Panel Session on European Accreditation of Public Administration
Panel Session on Joint NASPAA – NISPAcee Governance Improvement Cooperative Project
Forum for Heads of Training Centres and Institutes of Public Administration
Forum for Young Professionals in Public Administration
4. WORKING GROUPS
I. Working Group on Politico-Administrative Relations
|This is what we are fighting for :
More personnel :
- adjustment of norms on the basis of functional criteria
- 25,000 new jobs in the health care sector = say no to stress and yes to quality
Work duration :
- for the whole health care sector
- statutory regulation of the end of the career and early retirement
- making new means available for retraining more personnel into nursing staff
- promotion of the importance of A2-A1 bridging training
Occupational diseases :
|On behalf of the trade council Local and Regional Authorities,
Ms K. Van der Gucht participated in the inaugural session of this new, 29th
social dialogue committee. The meeting was opened by Ms. Odile Quintin,
Director General DG Employment and Social Affairs who underlined the importance
of social dialogue in European social model and the Lisbon strategy. In
this respect it is vital to anticipate change and involve all actors, according
to Ms. Quintin.
The plenary session then adopted the work programme 2004-2005. This includes among others the creation of 5 working groups, notably:
- public procurement/PPPs,
- local and regional dimension the European Employment Strategy
- industrial relations in new member states
- good practices on human resource management
|These working groups will prepare reports, collect best practices
and organise seminars. In the autumn of 2005, for example a Pan-European
Conference on social dialogue in local and regional government in the EU15
and the new member states is scheduled to take place.
Based on the experience of the social dialogue committee Postal services and the social dialogue committee Telecommunications, Eurofedop and the trade council local and regional authorities will participate actively and constructively in achieving concrete results.
To the members of the Executive Committee
To all organisations
This morning, we have been much distressed by the news of the sudden and unexpected decease of our good friend and colleague Igor Lensky, former President of SLOVES and Vice-President of EUROFEDOP.
During more than 10 years, Igor has given the best of himself, worried about the well-being of SLOVES and its members, and, being a citizen of the world, he accompanied us during many trips, far across borders, to defend the trade union cause.
In his quality of Vice-president of Eurofedop, he participated in many trade councils, seminars and other events, where we were given the opportunity to benefit from his knowledge and experience. He has not only been a very sympathetic but also a very correct colleague. We can say without exaggeration that it was for an important part thanks to Igor that Eurofedop has grown into a dynamically operating European federation, where colleagues from Central and Eastern Europe contribute actively to improving the situation for employees of the public service in Europe.
JUDr. Igor Lensk_
viceprezident KOZ SR
Deceased in Bratislava on 4 February 2004 at the age of 48.
The cremation will take place in Bratislava on 11 February 2004 at 13.00.
We express our sincere condolences to the family in distress and the friends of the deceased.
Mourning address : SLOVES; Vajnorská, 1; SK-81570 Bratislava; E-mail : email@example.com
The EZA starting seminar 2004 was conducted from January 9 to 11 in the Polish city of Cracow. During three days, representatives of 60 member centres and observers discussed about the latest developments of the European Social Dialogue. EZA also used this occasion to present its programme for the new year.
The central topic of the “European social dialogue” education
programme for the next few years will be the enlargement of the European
Union through the accession of Central and Eastern European states.
Eurofedop has participated in the project “Partners in Developing Quality” with the presentation of the seminar it organised in Athens (3-5.04.2003).
Bert Van Caelenberg, Secretary General of Eurofedop, took
care of the presentation and described the methodology.
new organisation in the field of health care, Health First Europe, held
its first members meeting in Brussels on 23 January. The primary objective
of this alliance of patients organisations, health care workers, academics,
experts and industry is to "ensure that equitable access to modern,
innovative and reliable medical technology and healthcare is regarded as
a vital investment in the future of Europe". Health First Europe does
not see itself as a lobby group but as a platform for exchanging views of
its members and therefore its website www.healthfirsteurope.org plays an
important role. Eurofedop is a founding member of Health First Europe.
Eurofedop secretary Bert Van Caelenberg congratulates the creation of this broad platform and is delighted that the founders acknowledge the fact that health care workers are vital for the future of healthcare in Europe. As a founding member Eurofedop and the Trade Council Health services will evaluate the further initiatives of Health First Europe and participate actively in any programms destined to improve the quality of health care and the working conditions of employees in health services.
For more information:
The enlargement of the European Union asks for special attention from Eurofedop
The enlargement of the European Union, that will become reality in May
2004, will ask for special attention from Eurofedop. Thus the congress
of the Trade Council Post and Telecom concluded on Friday 5th December
|The Trade Council Post and Telecom is of the opinion that,
with the accession of these new member states, the European Commission has
the responsibility of seeing to the realisation of good labour relations
in these countries. On the basis of arguments, employers and trade unions
should consult with each other on the elaboration of a good social policy.
From the trade council Post and Telecom, colleagues trade unions from the
accession countries will be supported in word and deed so that a good social
dialogue may come into place in these countries.
Eurofedop calls on the employers’ organisations ETNO (Telecom) and PostEurop (Post) to take care of the realisation of good labour relations in the colleagues companies from the accession countries. Moreover, Eurofedop calls on the European Commission to provide financial help in support of the development of good labour relations, so that these countries and their companies would quickly operate at a level equal to that of many other countries in Europe.
The Trade Council Post and Telecom will stay alert, in its contacts with ETNO, PostEurop and the European Commission, to ensure that the colleagues trade unions from the accession countries will be given full opportunity to participate in the various debates and discussions, so that they might quickly integrate into one European Community.
Eurofedop is a great supporter of the introduction of forms of mediation to solve conflicts at the workfloor. To this end, well-trained staff at executive level should be appointed in companies to perform tasks of mediation between the management and the workers. Moreover, a dialogue should be started with company directions about their social responsibility towards workers, citizens and society. Eurofedop has developed a framework guideline in this respect.
Some 80 trade union representatives, members of the European Parliament, representatives of the European institutions, representatives of the new member states and many kindred organisations gathered in the solemn atmosphere of the Bibliothèque Solvay for the presentation of the Eurofedop activities 2004 and an informal walking dinner.
Fritz Neugebauer, President of Eurofedop, extended new year wishes to everybody and thanked the 52 member organisations and the Eurofedop staff for their work in 2003. Most notably he referred to the activities of the various trade councils, participation in the European social dialogue and the troika meetings during the Greek and Italian presidency and the organisation of seminars on Pensions, mobility and CAF in Athens and Eurofedop-Enlargement in Vienna. All of the above affirm the presence of the European Federation of Employees in Public services on the "European stage" as an initiator as well as a partner in many projects.
According to Secretary General Bert Van Caelenberg this would not be possible without the support and cooperation of many members of the European Parliament and other European organisations. The ultimate goal of all this work should be the interests of the employees in the public services.