Issue 2 - March 2016 


Dear subscriber subscriber,

The recent attacks in Brussels show the need to strengthen the cooperation at European level and to stay united against any form of terrorism. 

HOSPEEM expresses its deep solidarity towards the victims of this terrorist attack. 

As you will read in this newsletter, the beginning of the year has been very active and fruitful for HOSPEEM in particular with the participation in the European Dialogue on Skills and Migration, the DG SANTE workshop on CPD and Patient Safety, the fact-finding seminar of the cross-industry social partners’ negotiation on active ageing and the partnership meeting of the new EU-OSHA Campaign “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages”. HOSPEEM also co-organised the first meeting of this year of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector and held the final meeting of its joint OSH project with EPSU.

The upcoming period will also be busy and promising for HOSPEEM with a study visit to ARAN and Agenas in Italy and the participation in high-level events such as the workshop of the DG SANTE study on Health Care Assistants and the closure event of the Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting.

In this issue of the newsletter, you will find HOSPEEM news, news from Members, EU news, recent publications as well as information on events attended and future events. This newsletter has been conceived as an interactive tool 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 to future issues.

Enjoy your reading!


Tjitte Alkema


Secretary General of HOSPEEM



European Dialogue on Skills and Migration

HOSPEEM Secretary General Tjitte Alkema was invited by the Commission to participate in the European Dialogue on Skills and Migration organised by DG Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) on 28 January and more specifically to represent HOSPEEM in the workshop on the health sector. The main focus of the discussions was on shortages in the health sector and the role of migration in addressing them, as well as on the challenges linked to migration of health professionals. On this occasion, the HOSPEEM-EPSU Code of Conduct on Ethical Cross-border Recruitment and Retention was showcased. During the event, the importance of improving the attractiveness of the EU towards highly skilled third country nationals and of ensuring their effective integration, the validation of their skills and the recognition of their qualifications was particularly highlighted. The outcomes of this meeting will feed into the preparation of the Commission’s upcoming initiatives in the field of integration and legal migration. Read more.

Cross-industry social partners’ negotiation on active ageing – Fact-finding seminar

On 9 February, Kate Ling (NHS Europe) participated in the fact-finding seminar organised by the EU cross-industry social partners as a start of their negotiation of a framework agreement to foster active ageing and an intergenerational approach, as planned in their work programme 2015-2017. On this occasion, Kate Ling, representing HOSPEEM, was invited to present, together with Richard Pond (EPSU), the HOSPEEM-EPSU Guidelines and examples of good practice to address the challenges of an ageing workforce in the healthcare sector adopted in December 2013. 

DG SANTE workshop on CPD and Patient Safety

HOSPEEM attended the workshop organised by DG SANTE on 11 February on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and patient safety. This workshop brought together 60 experts in the field of CPD, including representatives of regulatory, professional and educational bodies and of the European Commission. Following a proposal from HOSPEEM, Marjolein Schouten (Jeroen Bosch Hospital Den Bosch) was invited to present a programme for continuous education for RNs in the Jeroen Bosch Hospital. The main objective of this workshop was to exchange information and share knowledge to help Member States optimise CPD of health workforce to improve quality of care and patient safety. Read more.

HOSPEEM Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting and project activity

HOSPEEM members participated in the first Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meeting of the year in Brussels on 2 March. The meeting was dedicated primarily to the continuation of the discussions on the HOSPEEM-EPSU joint declaration on access to CPD and LLL for all health workers in the EU and to an exchange on the next steps of the HOSPEEM-EPSU project on health and safety risks in the hospital sector in view of the final meeting of the Steering group held the day after.

On 3 March the participants exchanged views about the dissemination of the project results at national and EU level and the use of project outcomes in the context of the future work of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for the Hospital Sector. Possible further actions to be taken by HOSPEEM and EPSU in the field of MSD and PRSRS@W and ways to further share knowledge and exchange good practices were also discussed.

The dates of all the future meetings are listed in the events section on the HOSPEEM website.



Members’ profile: ARAN 

ARAN is the Italian full member of HOSPEEM. ARAN is the Italian Agency for the contractual representation of the Public Administration. Established in 1993 by legislative decree, it is a technical body, representing public administration in the collective bargaining at national level. It carries out activities in the field of negotiation and definition of the collective contracts for public administration staff. These activities include, inter alia, the interpretation of the contractual clauses and the regulation of the relationship with the trade unions. ARAN also supports public administration in the uniform implementation of collective contracts. ARAN is the only national body in charge of the negotiation in the public sector and it represents the main reference in the complex system of collective bargaining.

ARAN is led by a Steering Committee composed by 5 members chosen among experts in collective bargaining. Three of them are chosen by the Italian Government; one is chosen by the Presidents of Italian Regions and one is chosen by the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) and by the Union of Italian Provinces (UPI). Read more.

NVZ Branch Report 2015

NVZ recently published its Branch Report 2015, “Portraying Healthcare”. The report focuses on the developments made with regards to making the quality of healthcare visible, from the introduction of the Care Institutions Quality Act in 1996 to 2014 Quality Windows for patients. It provides detailed information in the form of facts and figures and it highlights that employment opportunities in the healthcare sector, one of the largest economic sectors in the Netherlands, have decreased for the second year running by an average of 0.8%. The average solvency for Dutch hospitals has increased, exceeding the target level of 20% for the first time. Read more



Health Programme 2014-2020 - Work Plan for 2016

On 29 February, the European Commission adopted its work plan for 2016 in the context of the EU Health programme 2014-2020. The funding opportunities include projects, service contracts and Joint Actions with national authorities, in priority areas such as: health of refugees and other migrants; tackling antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections; support to EU countries to respond quickly and efficiently to health crises; supporting the establishment of European Reference Networks; actions on chronic diseases and prevention of communicable diseases.The overall total amount of EU funding available in 2016 covering grants and tenders is nearly €58 million. Read more

European Pillar of Social Rights

The European Commission presented on 8 March a first outline of the European Pillar of Social Rights and launched a public consultation on it. The online consultation, running until the end of 2016, aims at making an assessment of the EU social “acquis”, reflecting on new trends in work patterns and societies and gathering views on the first outline of the Pillar. The European Pillar of Social Rights, which will set out essential principles to support well-functioning and fair labour markets and welfare systems within the euro area, should be established in early 2017. It should become a reference framework to screen employment and social performance of participating Member States and to drive reforms at national level. The Commission also stated that social partners, both at the EU and at national level, will be invited to play an active role in shaping the Pillar. Read more.

EU Semester: Publication of the Country Reports

On February 26, the European Commission published its annual analysis of the economic and social challenges in the EU Member States. The country reports are a tool under the streamlined European Semester of economic policy coordination to monitor policy reforms and to point early on to challenges that Member States should address. Following the publication in November of the Annual Growth Survey 2016 and the euro area recommendation, which set out the priorities at European level, these reports shift the attention of the European Semester to the national dimension. They will serve as the basis for discussion with Member States of their national policy choices ahead of their National Programmes in April, and they will lead to the formulation, in late spring, of the Commission's Country-Specific Recommendations. Read more

Tripartite Social Summit

The Spring Tripartite Social Summit (TSS) took place in Brussels on 16 March, on the eve of the March European Council. A discussion was held on a “strong partnership for job creation and inclusive growth”, taking stock of the new start for social dialogue launched in March 2015. A number of sub-themes were discussed, covering the implementation of the country-specific recommendations, the impact of the refugee crisis on the labour market and the challenges linked to digitalisation. On this occasion, the Public Services Employers Forum (PSEF) has published a joint declaration on digitalisation highlighting the key role of public services providers in a successful digital transformation and stressing the importance of guaranteeing citizens’ privacy rights. Read more. 

Investment Plan for Europe – State of play

At the beginning of the year the European Commission published a state of play of the Investment Plan for Europe. The European Investment Bank estimates that by the end of 2015, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) triggered around €50 billion of investment in Europe. The European Investment Bank approved 42 projects from the Investment Plan in January, four of which are related to health. Read more. 

Reform of the Posting of Workers’ Directive 

On March 8th the European Commission presented a targeted revision of the 1996 Posting of Workers Directive (Directive 96/71/EC). The aim of this proposal is to facilitate the posting of workers within a climate of fair competition and respect for the rights of workers, who are employed in one Member State and sent to work temporarily in another by their employer. This targeted revision also aims at ensuring a level playing field between domestic and posting companies in the host country. The proposal will introduce changes in three main areas: remuneration of posted workers, including in situations of subcontracting, rules on temporary agency workers, and long-term posting. Read more.



Events attended

Joint Action on Health Workforce Planning and Forecasting – Latest events

The third Joint Action Conference on Planning and Educating Health Workforce without borders, co-funded by the European Health Programme, took place in Varna (Bulgaria) on 18 and 19 February 2016 and was attended by HOSPEEM. The conference focused on 3 main themes: the challenges of mobility of health professionals, the effect of a changing demography on health workforce needs and the education of health professionals for the future. Read more.

HOSPEEM also participated in the expert workshop organised in Brussels on 16 March aimed at gathering views on how to sustain the results of the Joint Action and at discussing the different sustainability options.

The final report on Mobility data was made available on this occasion


EU-OSHA “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages” Campaign – Partnership meeting

HOSPEEM attended the partnership meeting of the 2016-2017 EU-OSHA “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages” Campaign held in Brussels on 16 March. It brought together current and potential campaign partners such as social partners, OSH professionals, companies and media partners. The aim of the upcoming campaign, which will be officially launched on 14 April, is to promote sustainable work and healthy ageing and the importance of prevention throughout the working life. HOSPEEM will apply to become an official campaign partner. Read more.

Future events

06-07/04/2016: Workshop of the DG SANTE Study “Support for the definition of core competences for healthcare assistants” (CC4HCA), Brussels

19/04/2016: Public hearing on Financing Services of General Interests in the Aftermath of the Crisis: What Role for Financial Instruments?, EESC, Brussels

 03-04/05/2016: Joint Action Health Workforce – Closure event, Mons, Belgium



Role of the social partners in the EU Semester

Eurofound recently published a report on the role of the social partners in the European Semester. It analyses the involvement of the social partners in the different stages of the EU Semester, both at national and EU level, in the 28 Member States between 2011 and 2014. The report focuses in particular on the preparation of the National Reform Programmes (NRP) and the adoption of the country-specific recommendations (CSRs) dealing with employment and social policy issues. HOSPEEM participated in the lunch debate organised by Eurofound on 16 February on the occasion of the publication of the report. Read more.

2015 employment and social developments review

On January 21st, Commissioner Thyssen presented the 2015 annual review of employment and social developments in the European Union (ESDE). This review examines the policy actions taken by the EU and Member States to achieve the employment and social objectives of the EU growth strategy Europe 2020. Despite recent improvements huge disparities still exist between Member States, in terms of economic growth, employment and other key social and labour market indicators. The report looks at ways of tackling these disparities, focusing in particular on job creation, labour market efficiency, social protection modernisation and investment in people. It highlights that social dialogue will be crucial in promoting a sustainable and economic recovery.Read more

Health workforce policies in OECD countries

The OECD published on 15 March a report entitled “Health workforce policies in OECD countries: right jobs, right skills, right places”. The report shows that the number of doctors and nurses has reached record levels in the OECD. According to the OECD, countries should now reform their training and employment strategies to better respond to people’s changing health needs and reduce their reliance on foreign-trained health workers from developing countries. The report underlines that a considerable number of doctors and nurses report a mismatch between their skills and their job requirements. Read more.

Working Time Developments in the 21st Century

On March 1st Eurofound published the report “Working Time Developments in the 21st Century: Work duration and its regulation in the EU” which examines the development of working time for full-time workers in the EU between 1999 and 2014 .The report shows that, although there has been a general convergence in working time between the EU15 and new Member States, working hours continue to vary widely in Europe, with a number of different regimes in place. A clear split can be seen in this regard, with collective bargaining playing an important role in the old Member States, whereas in central and eastern Member States working time standards are more likely to be established through legislation. The report suggests that compliance with working time regulations and overtime limits is better enforced where working time rules are mainly negotiated rather than where they are mainly set in legislation. Read more

Report on e-health in the WHO European Region 

The WHO recently published the report “From innovation to implementation, e-Health in the WHO European Region”  which explores the development of e-health in the WHO European Region as well as emerging trends in this respect. It describes how the use of technology to deliver health services and public health improvements, such as electronic health records, has become commonplace across the WHO European Region. The report encourages governments to take action on e-health and provide a clear governance structure and calls for sustained funding, reimbursement and defined standards for e-health. Read more.

Antimicrobial resistance on the rise in the European Union

The latest annual report of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the European Food Safety Authority again confirms that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a serious risk to human and animal health. The report shows significant regional differences throughout Europe as to the levels of resistance. The highest levels of AMR are observed in Eastern and Southern Europe.  The fight against antimicrobial resistance is a major priority for the European Commission. An infographic on AMR is available here. Read more.