EPSU Southeast European Constituency Meeting 15.03.2022
(25 March 2022) The recent constituency meeting was dominated by two topics: the war in Ukraine and the increased prices for energy and other products. The unions strongly condemned the invasion of the Russian army into Ukraine on 24 February, now a month ago. It violated the integrity of the country and caused a massive wave of refugees. Close to 4 million are now abroad and being received in countries like Moldova and Romania. The unions reported on how union members and the unions are assisting the refugees, mostly women and children. Turkish unions reflected on their experience with receiving the millions of Syrian refugees after the war in 2015.
The war in Ukraine exacerbated the energy situation. Prices for energy fuels were already high and are rising further throwing many workers and their families in energy poverty. Turkish unions have projects that monitor inflation and how that translates into a basket of goods. Prices go up, up… Unions across the region are demanding increases in minimum wages and regular pay. Albanian unions reported on the sustained protests that took place across the country as the government refused to curb the prices.
The unions further discussed the work of the EPSU Women’s and Gender Equality Committee and received a report on the Youth Network and foreseen meeting in Tirana. The representative of the constituency in the Finance Working Group detailed the proposal for the affiliation fees for 2023 and 2024. The EPSU General Secretary introduced the EPSU Executive agenda for May, the public service day 23 June and the proposed priorities for 2022 until Congress in Bucharest 2024.
The meeting was chaired by Razvan Gae, chair of the constituency group of unions. The meeting took place online 15 March 2022. The Constituency includes Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania and Turkey.