Four Agencies Seminar – EU-OSHA in the European Parliament

James Sumner

On the morning of Wednesday 25 September 2013, after many months of planning, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) joined three other agencies in the European Parliament in Brussels to highlight the work we are doing to help make Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work.

The event was hosted by the Employment Committee and brought EU-OSHA together with Eurofound, Cedefop and ETF to discuss how each agency contributes to the strength of the European social model and how that model itself contributes to a more competitive Europe.

With barely a spare seat in the house, Ms Inês Cristina Zuber MEP opened the event along with Cedefop’s director, Mr Christian Lettmayr with a key note speech from Mr Xavier Prats Monné, Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture, European Commission. The great turn out demonstrated the continued interest in the European social model and the work of the four agencies’, the event was also web streamed live to viewers across Europe. A number of members of EU-OSHA’s governing board and official campaign partners were in attendance and it was great to have their support!

After the opening remarks, it was the turn of the directors to present the work of their respective agencies outlining how they contribute to the European social model and a productive and competitive Europe. After some very interesting presentations from the other directors, Christa Sedlatschek delivered a speech highlighting the importance of health and safety at work in ensuring that businesses remain productive and competitive.
The director’s speeches were followed by a panel discussion, which included Members of the European Parliament, European social partners, policy makers and the Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova. The panel discussion was lively and showed that there was strong support for the four agencies and the European social model.

Commissioner László Andor made a closing address highlighting the importance of the agencies to the work of the Commission. In his speech, he reinforced the importance of occupational health and safety to achieving the Europe 2020 targets and emerging stronger from the economic crisis. He highlighted the work of EU-OSHA in demonstrating how effective health and safety makes sound economic sense.

The seminar was closed by the Chair of the Employment and Social Committee, Ms Pervenche Berès MEP and was followed by a reception in the parliament. All in all it was a great event, bringing together agencies working in related fields and demonstrating how they collaborate with the Parliament, the Commission and each other to support Europe’s social model.