The conference was held under the presidency of Jan Olsson, Vice president of CECOP, it has been conducted by Bruno Roelants and Marco Cilento (ETUC).
During the first intervention, Sylvia Vlaeminck (European Commission, DG Entreprise and industry, Head of Unit “Crafts, small businesses, cooperatives and mutuals”) recalled that its DG recognized the importance of the cooperatives, models of a solidarity mind between their members but also with the whole community.
She noticed that cooperatives are often innovative in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and that worker cooperatives in particular provide an excellent model of governance and education to the entrepreneurial world. She also announced that the situation will be reviewed following the 2004 communication on cooperatives and a report will be published in 2008.
Evelyne Pichot (European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, in charge of the Directive on the workers involvement in SCE's (2003/72/CE) updated the participants on the situation of the implementation of the Directive in the different European countries (transposition everywhere except in France, Greece, Luxemburg and Portugal).
Bruno Roelants and Luca Pastorelli introduced the Involve project and the temporary conclusions from the answers from CECOP members to the questionnaire on workers' involvement.
The afternoon was dedicated to the clarification of a common ETUC-CECOP conclusions project on the implementation of the SCE Directive to the sector represented by CECOP.
This text will be sent shortly to the CECOP members in order to ask their opinion. ETUC, in turn, will submit it to its members.
From the point of view of the CECOP secretariat, the meeting was a good training exercise for trade unions, notably concerning the member-workers' entrepreneurial responsibilities, and therefore the necessity of a training of the pending partners during a rather long probationary period. The meeting was also a good dialogue exercise at the European level between the entrepreneurial sector represented by CECOP and trade unions.