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Issue 3 - September 2019


Dear reader reader,

I hope you had a pleasant summer. In this edition of the newsletter, you will find more information about the upcoming project workshop in Rome on Strengthening Social Dialogue in as well as news from Members, EU News, events and publications for hospital and healthcare employers.

Following the European election in May, the new Members of the European Parliament elected the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Germany). Together with CEEP and the members of the Public Services Employers’ Forum, HOSPEEM is planning to issue a statement on the future priorities of the European institutions.

In the coming months, HOSPEEM is looking forward to working closely together with EPSU at the second regional workshop in Rome and to successfully close the current Work Programme while finalising the negotiation on the Work Programme 2020 – 2022.

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This newsletter and the HOSPEEM website have been conceived as interactive tools to facilitate the flow of communication from the EU level, to support the exchange of information between our members and to give your organisation’s voice a broader diffusion across Europe. Therefore, you are invited to send us your contributions for future issues.

Enjoy your reading!

Marta Branca
Vice-Secretary General of HOSPEEM


HOSPEEM-EPSU Workshop on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in Eastern Europe, Romania

2019-06-14 Website Banner
On 14 June 2019, HOSPEEM, EPSU and the project partners, Sanitas (EPSU affiliate, Romania) organised the First Regional Workshop in Bucharest, Romania. The meeting was the occasion to discuss the capacity building needs of sectoral social partners in the hospital sector in four Eastern Europe targeted countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania, as well the level of involvement of the sectoral social dialogue partners in the health/hospital sector in those four countries in the European Semester. Next to an intervention from HOSPEEM’s member SALAR on the role of social partners in the European Semester, the project partners welcomed the contribution from the Romanian Ministry of Health and Labour, as well as a video message by European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Marianne Thyssen. #EUSocDia

Main activities and outcomes of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital and Healthcare Sector in 2018

The SSDC for the Hospital and Healthcare sector adopted the summary document on the main activities and outcomes of 2018.

New on the HOSPEEM website: study visits overview

Over the years the HOSPEEM Secretariat had the opportunity to visit its members across Europe and to host national delegations from member organisations at its Brussels office. Find out more about our visitors, our hosts and the latest study visits on our new dedicated webpage.


"For the VKA it is an enrichment being a member of HOSPEEM. The membership helps to improve the understanding of other health systems, promotes constructive exchanges with other representatives (e.g best-practices) and contributes to participate in the process of development of working conditions at the European level regarding the hospital sector.
In the future, digitalization will play an important role in the hospital sector – together with HOSPEEM we can approach this subject."
Dirk Reidelbach, VKA, 2019

NHS Confederation: Interim NHS People Plan

This comprehensive guide for improving staff retention is aimed at employers in the NHS. It has been updated in Spring 2019 to include the latest learning and NHS case studies. NHS Employers has engaged with a large number of NHS organisations to help understand their retention challenges and equip them with tools and resources to implement effective workforce retention plans.


European Union institution leadership 2019-2024

Following the election of Ursula von der Leyen as Commission President-elect, the new Colleague of Commissioners (Commissioners-designate) was presented on 10 September 2019. Among others, the Commissioners-designate for “Jobs” (including “the promotion of social dialogue and engagement with social partners at the EU level” is Nicolas Schmit (Luxembourg) and the Commissioners-designate for Health is Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus). Now, the European Parliament has to give its consent to the entire College, including the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Joseph Borrell Fontelles (Spain).

Political Guidelines for the next European Commission 2019 – 2024

The political guidelines for the new European Commission are based around six key headings, namely 1.) A European Green Deal; 2.) An economy that works for people; 3.) A Europe fit for the digital age; 4.) Protecting our European way of life; 5.) A stronger Europe in the world; and 6.) A new push for European democracy. Jointly with members of the CEEP Social Affairs Board, HOSPEEM provided a set of questions which are directed towards the candidates' Commissioners on their future topics of reference, to best position the interest of services of general (economic) interest and public service providers, in particular those of the healthcare sector.

CMD 3 now published in the Official Journal of the European Union

Directive (EU) 2019/983 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Following two previous revision, this Directive sets out to assess the option of amending any further Directive in this field to include hazardous drugs, including cytotoxic drugs, predominantly used in the healthcare sector. The Directive has to be transposed into national legislation by 11 July 2021.

European Semester – publication of EC Country-Specific Recommendations

The European Commission released its new set of Country-Specific Recommendations. Among them, five countries received recommendations on social dialogue, whereas 15 countries received recommendations on healthcare, compared to 10 in 2017. The Council of the EU adopted the CSRs on 9 July 2019.

European Council adopts EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024

The EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024, aims to guide the work of the EU Institutions for the next five years and to bring answers to the challenges of our time. It focuses on four priorities: 1.) protecting citizens and freedoms, 2.) developing a strong and vibrant economic base, 3.) building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe, 3.) promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

30 years of Framework Directive on Safety and Health at Work

The Framework Directive on Safety and Health at Work 89/391/EEC celebrated its 30th anniversary on the same day as the 25th anniversary of the EU agency EU-OSHA.

European Parliament Committee election

During the constitutive meeting of the European Parliaments’ Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, MEPs elected Pascal Canfin (Renew Europe, France) as Chair, with two Dutch, one British and one Romanian Vice-Chair. The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs elected Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová as Chair, with Vice-Chairs from Lithuania, Portugal, Czechia and Germany. Together with EPSU, HOSPEEM is drafting a letter to the two Committees, welcoming an open dialogue between social partners and MEPs.

Rainer Plassmann elected CEEP President

During the last CEEP General Assembly Rainer Plassmann, Chair of CEEP SGI Task Force and Head of Personnel and Organisation and of Staff Unit “Services of General Interest” at Stadtwerke Köln GmbH, was elected CEEP President.


15-16/08/2019: Young Leaders for Health Conference on Health Workforce, organised by Young Leaders for Health, Berlin. HOSPEEM gave a workshop on the role of social partners in the field of recruitment and retention of health workforce together with HOSPEEM’s German member VKA. Participants learned about the European social dialogue and the role of national and European social partners in the recruitment and retention of health workers.

05/07/2019: SEPEN Webinar on health workforce mobility, organised by CPME, Brussels (as part of the series organised under the SEPEN Platform). The keynote speaker Ibadat Dhillon of the Department of Health Workforce, World Health Organisation informed that the volume of international health worker mobility is increasing and that the issues becoming more complex as well as more actors are engaging in this field. He believes that there is a greater need for domestic and international coherence. HOSPEEM noted that when discussing the complexity of processes and multiplicity of stakeholders, it is crucial to include the role of social partners.

02-03/07/2019: Eurofound seminar on capacity building, Riga. HOSPEEM on behalf of CEEP took part in the 1st exchange Seminar on Capacity-building together with HOSPEEM’s Latvian member. The meeting which is part of the wider Eurofound project “Exploring how to support capacity-building for effective social dialogue” focused on bipartite social dialogue, and particularly collective bargaining at sectoral level. The second exchange seminar will take place in Gdańsk in September 2019.

01/07/2019: Liaison Forum organised by the EC, Brussels. HOSPEEM and EPSU presented the work of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee of the Hospital and Healthcare Sector, in particular, their efforts in improving staff retention and reducing psychosocial risks.

27/06/2019: PESSIS+ final conference, organised by the Federation of European Social Employers and EPSU, Brussels

18-19/06/2019: The second review of relevance and effectiveness of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel (“Code”), organised by the World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland. HOSPEEM presented a policy brief entitled “The role of social partners in promoting fair recruitment practices and safeguarding decent working conditions” which was jointly elaborated with HOSPEEM Members and EPSU. The brief highlighted the EPSU-HOSPEEM Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross Border Recruitment and Retention in the Hospital Sector and provided lessons learned and recommendations both to the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee and the WHO in light of their 2nd review and the 10th anniversary of the WHO Code.

17/06/2019: Public hearing on the summary of the costs and benefits of investments in occupational safety and health (OSH), organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Brussels. The meeting discussed questions such as: How can the costs of investing in occupational health and safety be balanced with the benefits that such measures generate? And what is the view of the EU, other international organisations and the social partners on this issue? Speakers were represented by EU agencies (EU-OSHA and Eurofound), European social partners (BusinessEurope, EPSU), national social partners and various European stakeholders.

05/06/2019: Expert panel hearing on Task Shifting in Health systems, organised by the European Commission, Brussels

4-7/06/2019: 10th EPSU Congress – Fighting for a Future for All organised by EPSU, Dublin

04/06/2019: Workshop on Brain Flow in Europe, organised by the European Commission, Brussels


HOSPEEM events
- 02/10/2019: HOSPEEM Steering Committee
- 16/12/2019: HOSPEEM Steering Committee/General Assembly, Brussels

- 15/11/2019: Regional workshop 2 on Strengthening Social Dialogue, Rome. Registration is opened until 30th September.
- 17/12/2019: SSDC-HS Plenary Meeting 2019

Other events
- 19/09/2019: SEPEN Webinar
- 30/09/2019: EU Health Programme High-Level Conference, organised by the EC
- 29/10/2019: European Biosafety Summit Ministry of Health, organised by the European Biosafety Network, Rome
- 12/11/2019: Workshop – EU minimum harmonised training for general care nurses – time for an update?, organised by European Commission, Brussels
- 12-14/11/2019: European Patient Forum Congress, Brussels
- 21/11/2019: Social services in EU cross-industry Social dialogue: towards a strong and deeper involvement - Final Dissemination Conference, organised by CEEP, Brussels


EU-OSHA Conversation starters for workplace discussions about musculoskeletal disorders

The EU agency published a resource for workplaces, managers and workers alike to use conversation starters aiming to address issues related to musculoskeletal disorders, also providing tips and additional resources to initiate topics for discussion.

EU-OSHA project on the value of occupational safety and health and the societal costs of work-related injuries and diseases

The EU agency initiated a project to estimate the costs of work-related injuries and diseases at the European level, by firstly providing an overview of the availability and quality of the national and international data sources which are necessary to develop a cost estimation model at the EU-level. Secondly, EU-OSHA estimated the cost of work-related injuries and disease for five countries (Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland) out of the EU Member States, Norway and Iceland.

European Parliament, EU and ILO shaping the future of work

As per request by the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee, the report presents the main results of 60 years of joint work between the EU and the International Labour Organisation. The reports also highlight tangible outcomes of the collaboration and provide a perspective on the future of work, in particular on the importance of the service sector.

EC Review on Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE)

The 2019 edition focuses on the topic of sustainability in its economic, social and environmental dimensions, including an assessment of employment and social impacts of climate change policies. The report highlights that social dialogue can also contribute to a just transition to a carbon-neutral economy by ensuring the involvement of workers and employers equally. The report will be presented on 27 September 2019 in Brussels.

ILO Convention and Recommendation on Ending Violence and Harassment in the World of Work adopted with EU support

With the support of the European Union, the International Labour Organisation has adopted a convention and a Recommendation on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work setting out to “protect workers and employees, irrespective of their contractual status, and includes persons in training, interns and apprentices, workers whose employment has been terminated, volunteers, job seekers and job applicants. The Convention is now open for ratification by the Member States.

G20 Osaka Leaders’ commit to enhancing health workforce and human resources

Following the G20 meeting on 28-29 June 2019, the leaders’ agreed on a common declaration on global economic challenges. In the declaration, leaders committed to strengthen health systems with a focus on quality including through enhancing health workforce and human resources for policy development and promoting public and private sector innovation, such as cost-effective and appropriate digital and other innovative technologies.”
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