Romania has adopted a new law on social dialogue giving trade unions greater powers and establishing an easier procedure for setting up and representing employees. The change follows the requirement for national governments to promote collective bargaining, under the EU Directive on minimum wages.
The law has been described as “a game-changer” and brings four significant reforms:
Commenting on the conclusion of the European Council summit, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“Around 9.5 million working people already had problems paying their bills and the energy crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine is likely to plunge millions more into fuel poverty. Meanwhile, energy companies are banking record profits.
VTC Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment "A united tripartite response to the social and economic impact of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine"
Opening speech of Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary (23 March 2022)
[To be checked against delivery]
Colleagues of the Social Partners,
We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.
David Sassoli was a true defender of European values and democracy, and fought for a fairer and more united Europe.
He was a kind and caring man, an outstanding progressive leader, a supporter of Social Europe and a friend of workers and trade unions. He will be missed very much.
The deepest condolences of the European Trade Union Confederation to his family and loved ones.
My name is Luca Visentini and I speak here on behalf of trade unions from all over Europe.
The citizens’ panel have discussed and pushed forward an impressive and very ambitious set of proposals and demands, which together with the inputs posted in the online platform will enable us to make the future of Europe better and more inclusive.
I would like to mention just two of these ideas.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION WORK PROGRAMME 2022
Potentially positive initiatives include
Seriously bad gimmick includes
Protection of Workers from risks of exposure to asbestos at work
European Green Deal (on zero pollution, right to repair and plastics)
Media Freedom Act
Recommendation on Minimum Income
Strasbourg, 19 June 2021
Thank you chair.
The European trade unions and workers support this Conference and are highly committed to contribute to shaping a fairer European Union that takes care of people.
When this process was launched there was a need to reconnect citizens to institutions, to overcome inequalities and social exclusion as consequences of the financial crisis and austerity policies, to cope with the challenges of climate change and digitalisation, to rebuild European democracy.
Escalating international tension: Iran and Libya
"We urge the European Union to do whatever you can to promote dialogue and negotiation, and the search for diplomatic solutions."
Joint ETUC-ITUC letter sent to EU leaders
Dear High Representative,
Dear Prime Minister
ETUC supports the European and International Federations of Journalists and other organisations who have called on EU leaders meeting today to push the Prime Minister of Malta to guarantee that all investigations and legal proceedings related to the murder of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia are carried out efficiently, transparently and without interference.
The distribution of Commission portfolios announced today is a hopeful sign that the EU can deliver social progress over the next five years – now it’s time for the right personnel to deliver the right policies.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) applauds the fact that the proposed Commission is gender balanced and places politicians who understand the needs of working people in key roles.
“Considering the tiny majority Ursula von der Leyen got in Parliament", said Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, “we urge the new President of the Commission to build an alliance with the democratic parties only, and to reconfirm the cordon sanitaire against the far right. If she wants to deliver as Commission President, she needs to rebuild the trust that was jeopardised by the Council’s decisions. She needs to work for a more democratic European Union.”
Commenting on EU Prime Ministers agreeing today a six page ‘Strategic Agenda’ 2019-2024, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said
“I am encouraged that the Prime Ministers agreed a text on ‘Building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe’ which specifically mentions implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights. If this is done over the next four years Europe will be a much better place.
Democratic political parties forming a new coalition in the European Parliament to exclude the far-right “must put a renewed Social Contract for Europe at the heart of their programme including for the appointment of the new European Commission President and Commissioners” said Luca Visentini, re-elected General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
Commenting on Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union speech, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union said “We strongly support President Juncker’s call for the Pillar of Social Rights to be put into EU law, but social justice deserved far more than one sentence in the State of the Union speech.”
Getting to know the new EU constitution
- Pleasure to meet the Irish Forum on Europe which has done so much to set a more calm, balanced tone in the Irish debates on Europe since the first Nice referendum was lost.
- You have your admirers on the other side of the Irish Sea where European debates are anything but calm and balanced.