Congress days in Paris: Day one


On 29 September 2015 in Paris started the 13th Congress of the ETUC. The President of FTTUB Ekaterina Yordanova is taking part in it as a Vice President of the ETUC Women’s Committee. Alina Milusheva, representative of youth in CITUB is also present there as a non-voting observer.
The Congress was opened with personal greetings from a number of important political figures – the President of the European Parliament Schulz and the President of the European Commission Juncker, the French President Hollande and the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo. While being comparatively unknown in Bulgaria, this lady is a phenomenon on the European political scene. A daughter of Spanish migrant workers, last year she became the first woman mayor of the French capital ever. In March this year she hosted the mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova and promised to return the visit. These two ladies can certainly share a lot of experience in dealing with the problems of the big city and in hard work for a more welcoming and environment-friendly urban ambience.
None of the distinguished guests of the Congress was excessively optimistic amid a seriously crisis-hit Europe. President Hollande acknowledged that social achievements are under intense pressure, and the mayor Hidalgo openly warned that if we do not stop dreaming, “we will bring about an economic, social and democratic crisis.” Juncker did not hide that precarious employment is becoming the norm, but did not comment on its genesis. He announced that next year, the Commission will put forward a proposal for a set of minimum social standards. Martin Schulz said that behind the number of 5 million young unemployed lies “the bitter truth that our children are paying the bill for a crisis for which they are not responsible.”
The first thematic panel was dedicated precisely to the issues of the young people – “Quality jobs for youth: beyond youth guarantee?” Its moderator Fabien Kazenave gave the floor to Nicolas Schmit, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy of Luxembourg – the country which recently took over the EU presidency. Young union representatives also took part in the discussion. An interview on the most pressing questions was given by Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility.
Throughout this busy and important day, delegates and guests were warmly welcomed by the ETUC General Secretary Bernadette Segol (see the picture above).