It appears that the relationship with the trade unions has been improving markedly in France and Italy, partly thanks to the discussions on the SCE directive. In Sweden and Finland, the relations have always remained very strong, and this remains.

At the 15 June 2006 ETUC-CECOP conference, we already had the impression that the reality was somewhat better than our own perception. This impression was reinforced at this seminar.

At the EU level, the participants recognized that last year the CECOP side tried to re-vive the CECOP-ETUC relation as well as possible, and was careful in this exercise. Furthermore, the conference and the project were actually coordinated by the trade union side.

Last year's common declaration (click here), which to a great extent served as a basis to the Involve project, was actually proposed by CECOP. This year, with the ongoing project, we can be more confident in the development of the relationship with ETUC.

The seminar was followed by a smaller, technical meeting of the project research group, where the agenda of the next phase of the study was finalised. What comes next in the Involve project? An Involve questionnaire will be sent to all of you at the beginning of next week. We ask all full members and associated members that are federations to fill them in.

 We will also ask you to fill in another complementary questionnaire on sectoral social dialogue, within the framework of the SPP project with Cooperatives Europe. We ask you to fill it in as rapidly as possible, and for 30 April at the latest.