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Liaison Forum: focus on health and safety at the workplace

Berlaymont building Brussels, 27.06.2007

Monday 27 August 2007

The Liaison Forum brings together social partners to discuss the developments within the (sectoral) social dialogue in Europe. On 27 June participants of the Liaison Forum met to discuss the topic of health and safety at the workplace.

Jackie Morin, head of unit Social Dialogue and Industrial Relations of the European Commission’s DG Employment and Social Affairs chaired this meeting.

Jackie Morin first gave an update of the social dialogue developments. First of all he talked about the priorities of the Portuguese presidency, of which the new Treaty is of course number one. The change of order in the social dialogue chapter indicates that dialogue was put high on the agenda. Other issues are flexicurity, the Lisbon objectives and active inclusion. Two presidential conferences are coming up, one on the role of social partners in relation to the reconciliation of work and family life (12-13 July) and one on flexicurity in September. In July the European Commission will come forward with a draft text on equal pay for men and women. It will also publish the results of the consultation procedure on the modernisation of labour law. Concerning the sectoral social dialogue

Mr. Morin explained that currently there are 35 sectoral committees. The director of the European Agency for safety and health at work, Mr. Jukka Takala, presented the ‘Lighten the Load’ campaign on musculoskeletal disorders; more information can be found at Mr. Antonio Cammarota from the European Commission DG EMPL unit 4 Health, Safety and Hygiene at work, presented the EU health and safety strategy 2007-2013. The aim is to ‘improve quality and productivity at work’.

Another relevant item discussed at this meeting was the consultation on needle stick injuries; the Commission’s idea is to adopt the suggestion made by the European Parliament in 2006. Another presentation was given on the recently adopted cross-industry framework agreement on harassment and violence at work (signed by BUSINESSEUROPE and ETUC).

The negotiations on this agreement started in February 2006, the agreement was signed in April 2007 and will enter into force in April 2010.

For Eurofedop it is important to attend the meetings of the Liaison Forum in order to stay up to date on the latest developments within the social dialogue as well as the Commission’s agenda in this respect. Should you wish more information on the European Social Dialogue please visit:

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