IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Annual Meeting of Working Group 5 on 3 June 2013 in Brussels
Working Group 5 (WG5) conducted its first regular meeting on 3 June 2013 on the premises of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. The meeting was chaired by the Coordinator of WG5 Gintaras Morkis and was attended by around 30 participants.
The meeting was opened by short presentations of Andrzeij Adamczyk, EESC Member, host of the meeting and President of the Eastern Neighbours Follow-up Committee, on the importance of WG5 for the EESC and Vivian Konnari, EaP Desk Officer from the European External Action Service, on the prospects for the Vilnius Summit and the future of the EaP after the Summit. Gintaras Morkis presented the recommendations of WG5 prepared during its inaugural meeting at the Stockholm Forum.
Frederique Rychener, International Policy Officer for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy from DG Employment, Philippe Pochet, General Director of the European Trade Union Institute, Grigor Gradev, Executive Secretary from the Pan European Regional Council and Matthias Thorn, Senior Advisor from the International Organisation of Employers discussed EU social and employment policies and the role of social dialogue. Andrzej Adamczyk and Hubert Chambier, presented EESC opinion on social dialogue in the EaP countries and a concept note for a Study on social dialogue in the EaP countries Alicja Krzyżanowska from DG TRADE presented the opportunities and challenges for EaP countries in the area of social and labour policies in the light of the currently negotiated DCFTAs.
The last session featured a broad discussion on the way forward for the group. In order to better reflect the broader scope of activities of the WG desired by most members, it was decided to change the name of WG5 from "Social Dialogue" to "Social & Labour Policies and Social Dialogue". The initial discussion on creation of sub-groups was held. The study on social dialogue proposed to be carried out by the Group will serve as a basis for drafting the work programme of the WG. Nobody was elected as a second WG coordinator due to the lack of consensus.
Concept note for a study on social dialogue in the EaP countries (also available in Russian)
EESC Opinion on social dialogue in the EaP Countries (also available in Russian)