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27 May 2019

ETUI’s major presence at ETUC Vienna Congress

ETUI stand at ETUC Congress

The 2019 congress of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) took place in Vienna between 20-24 May 2019 (#ETUC19) and the ETUI had a major presence there with a number of events and publication launches.

The congress took place against the backdrop of European elections and the ongoing challenges of Brexit, trade wars and climate change. Leaders of Europe’s national trade unions attending the congress re-elected Luca Visentini as ETUC General Secretary and elected Laurent Berger as ETUC President. They also adopted a new manifesto and action programme for 2019-23 for ‘A fairer Europe for workers’.

In its mission to support European trade union movement, the ETUI organised a number of well-attended events, quiz and exhibition for the delegates and participants. Among the important new publications launched during the congress, was: on The future of Europe / Jetzt für ein besseres Europa where the authors (Peter Scherrer e.a.) advanced the debate on how to achieve a more social and sustainable Europe and build new types of trade unions. Another major book launch was the trilogy published on Collective Bargaining in Europe, which focused on industrial relations and the need to restore multiemployer collective bargaining on the continent. An session was dedicated to the future of work with a foresight perspective where the ETUI presented new ways of Anticipating change, staying relevant: why trade unions should do foresight. 

Debating the future and the need for a green & just transition, Philippe Pochet (ETUI Director General and author of the new book A la recherche de l’Europe sociale) and Laurent Berger (ETUC President and CFDT General Secretary) presented an interactive method for  selecting new indicators to prepare trade unions for a just transition.

ETUI-ETUC leaders jointly opened the exhibition Bread & Roses : another history of trade union posters inviting the participants to contemplate the evolution of trade union visual communications.

Also during the Congress, the ETUI-ETUC Brian Bercusson award 2019 was awarded to Dr. Pieter Pecinovsky, legal counsel with the law firm ‘Van Olmen & Wynant’ (Brussels), for his PhD thesis entitled ‘EU economic governance and the right to collective bargaining - a legal research on the problematic relationship of European economic policy and fundamental social rights’.

Addressing the issue of global inequalities, professor Joseph E. Stiglitz from Columbia University gave a lecture to the ETUC delegates and joined the ETUI stand for a book signing session about his latest publication, ‘People, Power and Profits: Progressive capitalism for an age of discontent’. The event attracted massive interest with people queueing to get a signed copy of the new book.

On the fringe of the congress, ETUI researchers organised a number of presentations about the European Works Councils or democracy at work. ETUI Education department invited the participants " to play and learn" with a quiz game and the agenda, shared the yearly course programme and offered a special origami to visitors. Each participant was also offered a reusable ETUI bottle from the in-house green team in order to avoid the use of plastics during the four days.   

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