European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Additional priority: Capacity building and development of skills


Communications are central to achieving ETUC objectives. There is a marked increase in ETUC visibility in the media and social media since the last Congress. This is the result of the work carried out by the ETUC to implement the Resolution on Communications adopted by the Executive Committee in October 2015.

ETUC communications cover a wide range including:

  • Increasingly successful media coverage (more successful in some countries);
  • Extensive social media outreach (over 17,000 followers on Twitter) using attractive visual materials, including the ‘photo actions’ at Executive Committee meetings;
  • A large amount of regularly updated content on the ETUC website;
  • A widely distributed monthly newsletter, and quarterly ‘national updates’ newsletter;
  • Materials provided in advance and under embargo for six ‘International Days’ on which affiliates agree to pass a common message, and for the Pay Rise campaign.

There has also been a big increase in collaboration with affiliates’ communicators, while support from affiliates can be improved. We estimate that no one communications action is supported by more than 25% of affiliates. Developing and executing a communication strategy needs to take into account specific national circumstances, allowing national affiliates flexibility regarding their active participation. While there are lessons to be learned and a proper assessment to be finalised, the Pay Rise campaign has shown that a European campaign can be delivered by the ETUC with its affiliates.

A campaign should remain a special priority (time-limited) activity, funded separately. The ETUC will seek commitments from affiliates to:

  • Report on Congress on their social media, website(s), newsletters/magazines;
  • Carry live streaming or video clips on their websites;
  • Ensure highest possible social media visibility across all affiliates’ social media platforms for at least one agreed activity at Congress.

Despite important progress in ETUC communications there is still much to be done, including:

  • Improved coordination with ETUI to make better use of their research and training;
  • Simplify ETUC language to reach beyond the Brussels bubble and union jargon;
  • Continue to improve the ETUC website, particularly access to documents, and in social media to develop the use of LinkedIn and Instagram. 
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  • Recognise the types and potential of digital actions and campaigns;
  • Identify the essential technological needs;
  • Analyse experiences in the trade union, national or European context;
  • Formulate how digital actions and campaigns can be used for trade unions and workers' interests.
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Vera dos Santos

dos Santos Costa

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Administrative assistant

Nathalie De Vits