President of CESI Romain Wolff opened the event, taking the floor to stress the importance of involving workers in policymaking, “CESI feels that much can be improved upon by discussing and exchanging ideas with experts in the fields: the workers who deal with these issues daily.”
The event gave Secretary General Klaus Heeger the chance to present CESI’s Resolution on Putting the worker back at the heart of future strategic guidelines in terms of freedom, security and justice. Among the key points which CESI underlines is the need to maintain solid levels of human and financial resources in the security and justice sector, the need to allow social dialogue to play its role in easing the implementation of legislation and the need to ensure adequate training for workers in the field of security and justice, in particular in an age where technology is rapidly changing the landscape.
Yves Pascouau, from the EPC, led the roundtable debate among speakers including a representative from the cabinet of Commissioner Reading, Mr Telmo Baltazar, and the Director of the DG for Justice and Home Affairs in the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, Mr Roland Genson. They were joined by Ms Fliorana Sipala from DG Home Affairs in the European Commission and Mr Filippo Colombo, Justice and Home Affairs Coordinator for the Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU.
Contributions from all representatives underlined the importance of the European Parliament in the process which will follow the Stockholm Process. Mr Baltazar expressed, on behalf of Commissioner Reding, the importance of putting the citizen at the heart of Europe’s area of freedom and justice. This is partly achieved through the European Parliament.
However, given the crucial role of the elections to the European Parliament in 2014, some panelists expressed concern for the timing of the European Council discussions on defining the strategic guidelines post-Stockholm, due to take place in June next year.
The issue of training of workers was raised time and time again throughout the debate by participants, with panelists agreeing on the need for an enhanced European dimension to training workers in the area of security and justice. A consensus appeared on the need to encourage better understanding and awareness of different national systems in the EU.
Trade unions also have a role to play in the development of post-Stockholm plans. Not only should trade unions focus on the European level, but their attention should also be on the national level, where workers’ voices can be heard by national governments as well. According to some of the panelists, this two-pronged approach would be more effective in ensuring that workers’ concerns are addressed.
CESI would like to thank all speakers for their invaluable insight and expertise, with a special thanks to the moderator Yves Pascouau for his lively and dynamic approach to chairing the debate.CESI@noon is a recent initiative launched in CESI allowing member organisations, journalists and the general public to meet and discuss topical affairs with high profile figures on the European scene. The event follows a roundtable format, with key note speakers and guest panelists. The debate is then followed by a question and answer session with participants.