Moving ahead swiftly - towards the EPSU Congress from 20–23 May 2014 in Toulouse

(4 December 2013) Last week EPSU held its 44th Executive Committee and further paved the way towards the next EPSU Congress. This will be a very important moment for our organisation. Not just because of the change in the leadership team, but importantly because of the political and economic situation that Europe is going through. Our congress will be a key moment to take stock of the last 5 years of economic crisis and to determine policies for the future. We have said it many times in this editorial, public sector workers should not pay the price of the crisis. Yet, it is only too often that we find ourselves calling on the European Commission to change its tack on many issues. With the publication of REFIT (Regulatory Fitness and Performance: Results and next Steps) the European Commission has taken yet a further step towards social deregulation, eroding workers’ rights, their health and safety and weakening social dialogue. As a result the request by the social partners in the hairdressing sector to implement their framework agreement on health and safety through directive is being blocked. Social Europe as conceived by the European trade union movement is in acute danger. The ETUC Executive Committee meeting on 3 and 4 December sharply criticized the approach taken by the Commission. UNI Europa, the European trade union federation in charge of the hairdressing sector is considering to take legal action against the European Commission for non-respect of article 155 of the European Treaty. EPSU will endeavour to support UNI Europa in this crucial battle. This is the last editorial for 2013. I wish all our readers a good and peaceful end of the year 2013. Yours Carola Fischbach-Pyttel