A perspective from the EU institutions, Member States and social partners

15 March 2022

Hemicycle – European Parliament – Brussels & online

Evelyn Regner

Vice-President of the European Parliament

Dubravka Šuica

Vice-President for Democracy & Demography, European Commission

Élisabeth Borne

French Minister for Labour, Employment and Inclusion

Dragoș Pîslaru

Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

Nicolas Schmit

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission 

Sylvie Brunet

Sylvie Brunet is a Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of the Renew Europe Group since 2019. She is a lawyer by training, a former head of human resources in different companies and she joined the Labour and Employment Section of the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE) in 2010. Sylvie Brunet chaired this section from 2015 to 2019. Sylvie Brunet also taught management and corporate social responsibility at Kedge Business School Marseille between 2012 and 2020. She has been serving as a member of the Cassis City Council since May 2020 (French Department of Bouches-du-Rhône). In the European Parliament, Sylvie Brunet is vice-coordinator for her group on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee. She is also a substitute member of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee and a member of the Delegation to the Union for the Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly. In her work in the European Parliament, Sylvie Brunet promotes a more social Europe with greater solidarity, in particular through the implementation of an adequate minimum wage in each Member State and support for the most vulnerable. She is also committed to a Europe that actively promotes women’s rights. In light of the digital and environmental transitions, she focuses on new ways of organising work as well as on training and employment for young people. Recently, with the adoption of her report on platform workers, she proposed several concrete solutions to improve their working conditions and ensure them fair rights and social protection.

Maxime Cerutti

 Maxime Cerutti was appointed Director of BUSINESSEUROPE’s Social Affairs department in January 2012. He is responsible for a diverse portfolio of social affairs and labour market policy issues as well as the day-to-day management of the department. He also coordinates BUSINESSEUROPE’s engagement as a social partner in the context of the European social dialogue. Maxime joined BUSINESSEUROPE in November 2007 as social affairs adviser. Prior to this, he worked between 2005 and 2007 as a policy officer at the European Youth Forum in Brussels. He started his professional career with a six-month internship at the French ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, where he followed the work of the EU Council on Employment and Social Affairs. Graduated in European law and political science, Maxime holds a Master degree from Sciences Po Paris, a double law degree from the university of Bordeaux in France and the university of Canterbury in the UK, and he participated in a summer session at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States. His mother tongue is French. He speaks English fluently, is at ease in Italian, and is a basic user of German and Spanish. 

William Cockburn

William Cockburn has worked at the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work since 1998 where he focused on the areas of research coordination, emerging risks and was responsible for the first European survey of enterprises on new and emerging risks (ESENER). In charge since 2012 of the EU-OSHA’s Prevention and Research Unit, which develops the OSH content for the agency, he is currently the Agency’s Interim Executive Director. Born in the UK, William trained first as a lawyer and then as an ergonomist. Prior to joining EU-OSHA, he worked in academic research investigating company safety culture and in the private sector as an ergonomics consultant and research manager for projects in health and safety at work.

Tara Coogan

Tara Coogan is Principal at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Her areas of responsibility include Industrial Relations policy and the policy and corporate oversight of the Irish employment rights and industrial relations bodies, the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.

Margarita de la Pisa

MEP Margarita de la Pisa studied Pharmacy at the Complutense University of Madrid. She has experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry and as a Pharmacy manager. She is passionate about children and their world and development. Mrs de la Pisa holds a Master in Learning Neuropsychology. Her main concern is the current social situation of loss of values, which lead her to engage in the Spanish political party Vox, to follow topics such as family, education and women issues. On top of this, we must not forget that she is married and a proud mother of nine children. She entered office as MEP in February 2020. She is a member of the Committee on Women Rights and Gender Equality, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Special Committee on Fight against Cancer (and lastly she is a substitute member in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee and the Industry and Research Committee).

Nayla Glaise

Nayla Glaise is the President of Eurocadres, the council of Professional and Managerial staff, having been elected to her position in October 2021. She is also a computer engineer in a French-based consulting company. Before being elected President of Eurocadres, she was the treasurer and member of the Eurocadres presidium team. Nayla played an active role in the WhistleblowerProtection campaign at the European level and the transposition of the directive in France. Now Eurocadres is leading the campaign EndStress calling for a directive on work-related psychosocial risks to tackle the stress epidemic and improve work organisation.

José Gusmão

José Gusmão is a Portuguese economist, activist and politician working as a Member of the European Parliament for Left Bloc (BE). He is Vice-President and Coordinator for The Left in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). He is also a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and the Delegation for Relations with the United States (D-US). Born in Lisbon in 1976, José Gusmão graduated in Economics at Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG). Worked as a research assistant and as a researcher. He has been one of the authors of an economics blog “Bicycle Thieves”, and co-authored the books “The crisis, the troika and the urgent alternatives” and “Economy with All”. He was a member of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) but later joined the Left Bloc (Bloco de Esquerda). He was then a deputy to the Assembly of the Republic in the XI Legislature, being Vice-President of the Committee on Budget and Finance. He worked between 2011 and 2018 as an Assistant in the European Parliament, with Miguel Portas and Marisa Matias.

Ivailo Kalfin

Ivailo Kalfin is Executive Director of Eurofound since June 2021. He has a long experience related to the EU integration. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Minister for Labour and Social Policy (2014-2016) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2005-2009), both times being also Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria. Ivailo was elected 4 times Member of Parliament and once Member of the European Parliament (2009-2014). He was also Director of the Economy and International Relations Institute and earlier on – Economic Policy Secretary to the President of Bulgaria. Ivailo’s main expertise is in the area of employment and social policy, public budgets, including the budget of the EU and EU relations with the neighbouring countries.

Joost Korte

Joost Korte was appointed Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion in March 2018. He was previously Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Trade Department and Deputy Director-General of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department as well as the Enlargement Department. He also spent several years in the Commission’s Secretariat General as Director for the relations with the Council of Ministers, and gained extensive experience working in the offices of Sir Leon Brittan, Chris Patten and Danuta Hübner. These professional experiences within the European institutions allowed him to develop a profound understanding of EU decision-making. A lawyer by training, Joost Korte joined the Commission in 1991, following eight years of academic work on European law at the universities of Utrecht and Edinburgh.

Maxime Legrand

Maxime Legrand is an economist, banker and promoter of managers’ rights, voice and professionalism. Following his doctoral economic research, he joined the business world as bank director and business manager. Before being elected President of CEC European Managers in 2021, he was Secretary General of CEC European Managers, in addition to his mandate as National Delegate of CFE-CGC, the French trade union representing the managerial workforce and founding member of CEC, and as President of FECEC, the European federation of bank managers. As President of CEC European Managers, Maxime Legrand has focused on the development of the organization’s work in the fields of sustainable leadership and gender equality. Also, in his role as head of the CEC working group on digitalization he helped launching, Maxime Legrand has been able to position CEC as advocate of human-centric digitalization. He is convinced that managers need a strong involvement in social dialogue, have to engage for Europe, people and should promote democratic values.

Mikael Leyi

Mikael Leyi is the Secretary General of SOLIDAR, a European network of progressive civil society organisations working to advance social justice through a just transition in Europe and worldwide. A Political Scientist, with a vast professional background in terms of competences and geographically, with experience from working in the 5 continents with European and international organisations of the trade union and popular education movements, as well as in collaboration with the institutions of the EU, OSCE and the UN. Work that has centred on support for democracy, citizens’ participation, civil society organising, policy and development for sustainability, inclusion and equality, peace, and dialogue. Mikael Leyi has an in-depth knowledge of civil society, welfare and labour market policy, the labour movement’s various organisations, political priorities, and activities, and the experiences of democratisation, industrialisation and welfare expansion in Sweden, Europe and internationally.

Esther Lynch

Esther Lynch was elected ETUC Deputy General Secretary at the Vienna Congress in May 2019, after four years as Confederal Secretary. She has extensive trade union experience at Irish, European and international levels, starting with her election as a shop steward in the 1980s. Before coming to the ETUC, she was the Legislation and Social Affairs Officer with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), where she took part in negotiations on Ireland’s National Social Partner Agreements. Esther’s responsibilities as Deputy General Secretary, include social dialogue, collective bargaining and wage policy, trade union rights, gender equality and Brexit. As Confederal Secretary she ran a successful EU-wide online campaign ‘Social Rights First’ that mobilised support for the European Pillar of Social Rights, led ETUC lobbying actions aimed at improving workers rights in legislative initiatives such as the Transparent and Predicable Working Conditions Directive and the Whistleblowing Directive, she spearheaded the ETUC’s ‘Europe Needs a Pay Rise’ campaign and helped secure the EU’s adoption of legally binding occupational exposure limits to protect workers from exposure to carcinogens, as well as a social partners’ agreement on reprotoxins.

Jean-Emmanuel Ray

Professeur de droit du travail à l’Université Paris I – Sorbonne
Sciences Po et Mines ParisTech 
Membre de la « Commission Mettling » (2015)  : « Transformation numérique et vie au travail »
Membre de la « Commission Frouin » / Matignon, 2020 : « Travailleurs des plates-formes: Quel statut ?Quel dialogue social ? »
Auteur de “Internet, Intranet, Télétravail : le droit du travail à l’épreuve desTIC
Wolkers-Kluwers, Collection Droit vivant, 3° édition, juin 2012

Ana Cristina Rebelo da Silva Couto de Olim

Ana Cristina Rebelo da Silva Couto de Olim has a degree in Law, has post-graduations in Public Law and Tax Management; and an Executive Specialisation Course in the ‘Leadership and Management Development Programme for SME Leaders’. Currently and since 12 October 2020, she is the General Director of the General Directorate for Employment and Industrial Relations (Direção-Geral do Emprego e das Relações de Trabalho, DGERT). Therefore, she is responsible for supporting the planning of legislation and rules related to employment and professional training, and industrial relations and working conditions; ensuring the management and fostering of the Certification system of vocational education and training (VET) providers; monitoring the processes of conciliation of work conflicts. Previously, she was coordinator of the Legal Office of the António Sérgio Cooperative for the Social Economy – CIPRL (CASES). Between 2011 and 2015, she performed duties as legal adviser of the Ministry for Economy and Employment, of the Ministry for Solidarity, Employment and Social Security and of the Secretary of State for Employment. She provided consultancy on matters of the Tripartite Agreement ‘Commitment for Growth, Competitiveness and Employment’ and at the Portuguese Tripartite Social Dialogue Committee in the fields of labour, employment and vocational training. Participated in the committee that drafted the sixth and the seventh revision of the Labour Law. She prepared and participated at the meetings with representatives from the European Central Bank (ECB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and European Commission within the MoU – ‘Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality’, in the fields of the labour market, employment and vocational training. She has more than 10 years of professional experience working in the fields of vocational training, employment and labour. Since the beginning of her career in the public administration sector, she worked very closely with the ministerial cabinets. In these cabinets was responsible for matters of labour affairs and social conciliation, employment and vocational training. She has a long professional experience as a lawyer.

Oliver Roethig

Oliver Roethig heads UNI Europa, the European service workers union with 7 million members, as its Regional Secretary, first elected in 2011. He is a member of the Executive Committee and former Vice-President of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) as well as of the Management Committee of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) since 2011. He also sits on the Executive Board of UNI Global Union, which represents 20 million workers. He was a member of the governing body of the EU’s digital skills and jobs coalition (2018-2021) as well as of the European Commission’s high-level working group on business services (2013-2014). He was Vice-President of Finance Watch, the European NGO representing non-industry interests and championing fair financial markets from 2012 to 2014 (before a board member starting in 2011). From 2003 to April 2011, Oliver Roethig was Head of UNI Finance, the global union for the banking and insurance industry. As part of his global remit, he coordinated activities of finance unions within the context of the G20. Born in Essen, Germany, Oliver Roethig studied political science, industrial relations, history and law at the universities of Bonn and Aberdeen as well as the London School of Economics where he graduated with a master degree in European Studies.

Alex Agius Saliba

lex Agius Saliba (born 31 January 1988) is a Maltese politician who was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019 on behalf of the Labour Party. Agius Saliba was a journalist for 5 years before he graduated as a lawyer. Since then, he worked as a legal advisor to a number of Ministers, including Ministers Helena Dalli (Malta’s European Commissioner) and Ian Borg, and Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Buontempo. He was appointed as Head of the European Union Secretariat in 2017 but stepped down to contest elections in 2018. Agius Saliba’s political career started when he was still relatively young. At 17 years of age, he became involved in students politics and occupied the Secretary General post of Pulse – a social democratic student organisation. He then moved to the Labour Party youth branch, Forum Żgħażagħ Laburisti, where he occupied the role of Secretary General and later on became President. After being successfully elected to the European Parliament, Alex Agius Saliba has been serving on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Petitions as Coordinator and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. In addition to his committee assignments, he is part of the Parliament’s delegations to the ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Delegation for Relations with Palestine and to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean. Agius Saliba was also appointed as co-chair of the MEP Alliance for Mental Health and Vice-President of the Biodiversity, Hunting, Countryside Intergroup. Agius Saliba, Vice President of the Socialists and Democrats at the European Parliament, was also appointed as rapporteur of the Digital Services Act and Common Charger (RED) by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and on the Right to Disconnect by the Employment Committee at the European Parliament. He was also appointed as the rapporteur on the protection of Persons with Disabilities by the Committee on Petitions. Agius Saliba is married to Sarah Agius Saliba, the former mayor of Ħaż-Żebbuġ and has a daughter Amelia. They currently reside in Siġġiewi

Brecht Stalmans

Brecht Stalmans has been working as a legal officer for the Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue since 2011. During this period, he has worked for several years as an advisor to the Minister of Employment in the Belgian Federal Government. His expertise concerns individual labour law, including the regulation of telework and digital disconnection.

Manuela Tomei

Manuela Tomei is Director of the Conditions of Work and Equality Department, International Labour Office (ILO) since 2013. Ms Tomei has held various posts at ILO Headquarters in Geneva and its Regional Office in Peru. She was lead coordinator of the preparatory work that culminated in the adoption of the last two ILO Conventions, namely, C.190 on violence and harassment in the world of work in 2019, and C.189 on decent work for domestic workers in 2011. Together with UN Women and OECD, the ILO established and launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2017 the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) to contribute to the realization of SDG 8.5, in which Ms Tomei played a key role. She led the work that resulted in the adoption by the 2021 International Labour Conference of the Resolution on inequalities and the world of work. She has written and provided policy advice on a range of subjects, including gender, poverty and work, informal and non-standard forms of employment, wages and the gender pay gap.

Ingrid Vanhecke

My department is the linking pin between the European Union and the ministry. I am responsible for coordinating (new) EU policy and national social policy, for example the coordination of social security regulations between member states, labour mobility and social economic policies such as the European framework for adequate minimum wages. We align horizontal European files such as the multiannual financial framework and the creation of corona support funds with other ministries. I advise the minister on European social affairs and represent the Netherlands and/or my ministry together with my employees in The Hague and Brussels. From Februari 2014 until September 2018 I worked at the department for Occupational Health and safety at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. I was responsible for occupational health and sustainable employability, which ranges from issues like working with dangerous substances like asbestos, physically demanding work, the organisation of occupational medicine and combatting occupational diseases. In this position I visited businesses to learn about their successful approach on healthy working conditions. I spoke with experts and representatives of employees and employers. And in general gained valuable insight in this field. Before that I held various positions within the Agency for Educational Services of the ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Agency is responsible for the implementation of educational policies, financing schools and student loans. I held positions ranging from project management, to IT-management, to relation management. I studied Public Administration at the University of Leiden and did my master theses on the European decision making process on transferring retirement rights across national borders.

Véronique Willems

Véronique Willems is representing Crafts and SMEs in Europe as the Secretary General of SMEunited (formerly known as UEAPME) since January 2017. Beforehand and as from 2009, she was the Head of European affairs at UNIZO (SMEunited Belgian member organisation) and was responsible for advocacy on policies affecting SMEs at EU-level. In January 2016, she was nominated deputy to the SME-representative for Belgium at the European Economic and Social Committee. Ms Willems started her career at UNIZO in 1999 as Policy Officer in charge of education, training and SME counselling and went on to work at the regional office (Vlaams-Brabant & Brussel) as responsible for advocacy at regional level, mentorship programs and individual counselling for entrepreneurs. Ms Willems holds a Law degree from Vrije Universiteit Brussels and a Master’s Degree in Commercial sciences / Business management from VLEKHO Brussels.

Tomáš Zdechovský

Tomáš Zdechovský (*2 November 1979) is Czech politician, crisis manager, media analyst, poet and author. In 2004, he founded a PR and communication company, which he was a Chief Executive until he was elected a member of European Parliament in 2014. He also managed its subsidiary company WIFI Czech republic. During his first term as MEP (2014-2019), he was a full member of Budgetary Committee and Committee on Civil Liberties and Justice. In 2019, he was re-elected and currently he is a member of Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Vice-Chair of Budgetary Control Committee. Since 2008 he is a member of KDU-CSL (Christian-Democratic Party) and in February 2020 he was elected as a Deputy Leader of the party. Moreover, he is a Co-chair of MEP Alliance for Mental Health.