The European Commission organised a conference on working conditions on 28 April in Brussels to reflect on the results achieved and on the way forward.
Improving working conditions has been a long-standing priority for the EU institutions and over the last years several key initiatives have been taken. The financial and economic crisis has led to an increased pressure on employment and working conditions. Therefore, protecting and improving the quality of work appears even more critical to achieve more inclusive growth.
It is against this background that the conference took place. The event gave an opportunity to obtain feedback from stakeholders and engage with them in an open public debate about future priorities in different areas relating to working conditions.
Participants, goals and topics
The conference gathered the Commission, Ministers and senior officials from EU countries, representatives of EU institutions and bodies as well as of the ILO, representatives of employers and trade unions, academics and practitioners from all over the EU.
It pursued two main objectives:
- to disseminate and obtain feedback from key stakeholders about forthcoming initiatives and/or recent policy evaluations by the Commission;
- to engage stakeholders in an open public debate about future priorities of the Commission in the field of working conditions.
The conference was organised around five main areas:
- Occupational health and safety: how to maintain a high level of protection?
- Anticipation and management of restructuring: what concretely works?
- Reconciliation of work and private life: how to succeed in meeting this expectation in the best conditions for all?
- Working conditions of trainees: how to make a traineeship a fair and rewarding experience?
- Decent working conditions outside the EU: how can we help our partners?
The conference ended with a closing session to share ideas on the way forward.