UNI Europa, ÖGB and GPA-djp issue declaration on Digitalisation, Work and Employment in the EU

Tuesday 15 September 2015

A declaration supported by MEPs Evelyn Regner and Jutta Steinruck was issued on 15 September at a public panel debate this evening. It addresses the lack of a meaningful social dimension in the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Package – without which the current EU digital agenda will not serve to create inclusive and sustainable growth in the long run.

MEP Steinruck said: ‘The digital future is already here – and it brings exciting opportunities for growth in Europe whilst posing challenges in the fields of work and employment that have to be addressed. It is the EU’s role to ensure that digitalisation leads to quality jobs and social justice at the same time as driving economic growth to new levels.’

MEP Regner added: ‘I welcome this declaration that, together with UNI Europa’s critical assessment of the Digital Single Market Package, calls on the European Commission to ensure a broader focus in its digital agenda. Digitalisation has the potential to empower European citizens, to foster cohesion and to be inclusive of the needs, rights and ambitions of all Europeans – and the EU must ensure such potentials are realised.’

UNI Europa, ÖGB, and GPA-djp have identified the following principles and considerations that need to be taken into account:

  • Digital technology must serve to empower workers and enrich work
  • A digital world of work requires high standards for the protection of personal employee data
  • Workers’ rights and social protection for all in the digital age
  • Education and training systems fit for the digital age
  • Reinforcing the European social model in the face of digital change

Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa said: ‘ÖGB, GPA-djp and UNI Europa are convinced that a digital Europe can be a better Europe – a Europe in which growth brings higher quality jobs and promotes more social justice. But the benefits of digitalisation will not be reaped automatically. Targeted and balanced policies are called for to tap into the economic and social potentials the digital revolution entails.’

The declaration as well as UNI Europa’s critical assessment of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Package was launched at a public panel debate entitled Digitalisation and its economic and social potentials, featuring Wolfgang KATZIAN, Chairman of the Union of Private Sector Employees (GPA-djp), Member of the Mangement Board of UNI Europa and Member of the Austrian Parliament as keynote speaker and Evelyn REGNER, Member of the European Parliament, Jutta STEINRUCK, Member of the European Parliament, Oliver ROETHIG, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa and Ursula HUWS, Professor at the University of Hertfordshire as panelists. The debate was moderated by Willy DE BACKER, Head of Communication and Publications, European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

Read the full declaration here

Read UNI Europa’s policy paper in English here and in French here


UNI Europa, the European services workers union

ÖGB, the Austrian trade union federation

GPA-djp, the Austrian union of private sector employees, graphical workers and journalists