I want to start by thanking Esther, the team and everyone who has works on making this congress a success.
The discussions here in Berlin and leading up to this congress have given us a sound base on which to work in the ETUC over the next congress period.
We are very glad that we have managed to – once again – find good compromises that strengthen our unity in the ETUC and that allow us to move forward united.
Amid these celebrations we are, however, worried about the financial situation of the ETUC. Declining membership, Brexit and the move from the ITUH into new premises mean that we need to prioritize where we put our joint focus and efforts.
This work has been delayed many times – but the fact remains – that we don’t have a strategy for how to tackle the decline in income so that we can plan and prioritize our work accordingly.
We realize there have been a lot of challenges lately and that the task is difficult
– but it needs to be done so that we remain in control of the situation and are not forced into potentially bad decisions. This needs to be prioritized.
Let me turn to a more positive topic and express that in STTK we are very glad that the ETUC and taken steps towards hybrid meetings and making remote participation possible. In the long run we believe that embracing the possibilities that new technologies offer will also save us money.
For us members from smaller countries and further away, it gives more opportunities to participate and contribute. It is in line with the green transition and it is an important measure to ensure work-life balance for many of our colleagues.
Once again thank you for all of your hard work and I look forward to our continued cooperation and work in the coming congress period.