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KF Seminar

Randers (Denmark) 05-06.11.2007

Thursday 8 November 2007

All the versions of this article:

On 5 and 6 November, KF organised a seminar on ‘Christian values and European labour markets’. There were participants represented from trade unions in Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Serbia, France, Moldavia, Romania, Malta and Denmark. Eurofedop was represented by 11 of its members.

The objectives of the seminar were:

- The role so far of Christian values and Christian trade unions in Europe
- The present and future role for Christian values and Christian trade unions in Europe
- Address fundamental questions in plenum and in small groups concerning the challenges that the European Christian trade unions face in the globalized world.

Concrete conclusions:

1. Christianity and the spirit of Globalization including the issues of religion, Nation State, Welfare State and beyond Christianity has had an enormous impact on the European labour markets because in Christianity lays the philosophy of secularisation. In the modern time secularisation meant that religion played a smaller role on the labour market. The nation states became strong and took over most of the social responsibility which the church used to have. In the globalized time today the religion has gained back its impact in Europe because the nation state and the welfare state are expected to be weakened. Christianity is no longer is the only strong religion in Europe.

2) The relationship between Islam and Christianity in a multi religious Europe and the role of Christian values in the multi religious Europe It is important that the Trade Unions with Christian values influence the way we develop our European labour markets. The Christian values have the preference, that they initiate freedom, tolerance and the individual person.

3) The role of the Christian Trade Unions and the difference they have made until today in the European countries The Christian Trade Unions have made a big difference on the national level, on the level of the labour market and on the individual level. This is because the Christian union:

a) is focusing on the individual person and listening to what our members want today and in the future

b) is focusing on dialogue and compromises more than on class struggle,

c) and has made quality and service better for the members by creating competition between trade unions

4) The future of the Christian Trade Unions The future for the Christian Trade Unions is to stick to the Christian values and keep the focus on the individual person. In the future The Christian Unions will also have to work for the free choice between different Trade Unions to secure the service and quality for the members - no matter what country they come from. To succeed it is necessary that the Christian Trade Unions stand together and ensure influence on the European level. It’s not enough to change things on the national level because the biggest and most important decisions concerning the labour market nowadays are taken on the level of EU.

The following speakers participated in the seminar:

Soren Fibiger Olesen
-  Søren Fibiger Olesen, president of the Christian trade union, Denmark
-  Hans Hauge, Ph.D., University of Aarhus, Denmark
-  Jan Jakob Van Dijk, Professor dr., member of the Dutch Parliament, The Netherlands
-  Roel Rotschuitzen, president of WOW (World Organization of Workers)
-  Massoud Fouroozandeh, minister in the Danish-Iranian Church of love, Denmark
-  Søren Dosenrode, Associate Professor, History, International Studies and Social Conditions, University of Aalborg, Denmark
-  Fritz Neugebauer, president of Europfedop, member of the Austrian Parliament, Austria

Debate

A picture from the seminar: the debate is very engaging

Reflections

The seminar has given the Christian trade unions in Europe platform for the work as a European network. This is concerning both values and the understanding of a joint European influence on the EU labour market politics. The original objectives of the seminar were very well met and the seminar has inspired to further European social dialogue in the future.

We are very thankful that EZA and the European Commission have supported our seminar. We believe they are thereby strengthening the platform for the Christian unions in Europe to contribute to the social dialogue in Europe. The seminar has stressed - in the context of European Christian unions - that the European political level is very important.


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