Young Leaders

From September 8 to 21, 2021, the first part of the “Young Leaders” training course took place in Paris, organised by the CFTC (French Confederation of Christian Workers), in cooperation with EZA and with the support of the European Union.

Welcomed by Joseph Thouvenel (CFTC) and Norbert Klein (EZA), the young leaders were able to hear the following speakers:

  • Mr. François ASSELIN, President of the CPME (Confederation of small and medium-sized enterprises) on the theme: "Negotiation: what priorities for managers".
  • Mrs. Agnès THILL, Member of Parliament for the Oise region, with: "How to prepare an appointment with a political leader? ".
  • Mr. Bernard VIVIER, Director of the IST (Higher Labour Institute) on collective bargaining.
  • Mr. Daniel HERVOUËT, Associate Professor at the University of Paris II and former Director of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale) on: “The company: balance of power or negotiation – the role of the manager”.
  • Mr. René BERTAIL, Member of CESER (Regional Economic, Social and Environmental Council) on the topic: "How to manage negotiations before, during and after?"
  • Mr. François de la RÜE du CAN, former President of CANON Europe with: "What relations between trade union leader and business leader? ".
  • Mr. Michel COQUILLION, former Vice-President of the CESE (Economic, Social and Environmental Council) on: “The powers and limits of the leader, what values to put into action? ".
  • General Bruno DARY on: "The role of the Chief".

Seminar results

Negotiation is an argument between actors with divergent aims aimed at reaching an agreement that suits everyone. Collective bargaining was born more from economic realities than from the movement of ideas. It was necessary to reduce the conflicts of interest between the employees (desiring a legitimate increase in their wages) and the employers (desiring a reduction in wages in a production logic).

Traditionally two schools oppose each other, that of the balance of power (revolutionary) with the desire to crush the other (strikes, kidnappings, class struggle) and that of the search for dialogue and lasting compromise, the reformists (current Christian and the search for a common interest). We must train in negotiation, reform because the world is constantly changing, and we must not stay on the side-lines. We must move in the same direction for our companies, which are first and foremost a human community before being an economic tool, for the common good


Negotiation implies rules because otherwise it is a spiral of violence. Dialogue must take precedence to obtain something. You must negotiate to convince. Any conflict, whatever its nature, must first be the subject of negotiation. Negotiations are like a game of chess where you must be one step ahead, and anticipate. It is necessary to find points of strength, and this requires a comparative study of the assets of the actors such as: the ability to mobilise, the financial means, the ability to argue (legal and technical skills), an ability to connect to the issues of the moment (example Covid and deindustrialisation). All this requires training and a good knowledge of the files. A strike must be the last resort because it is a very serious, very violent decision, which can pit employees against each other and have serious consequences for the company and its customers or users.


The participants agree on the fact no modern democracy exists without intermediary bodies. The organisation of the labour market is permitted by negotiation whatever its level (company, professional branches, national). The current observation is that the State encroaches on the freedom of the social partners to manage the social aspects, while it is the people concerned who are best able to settle social issues. Subsidiarity is, and remains, an essential, primordial element in the economic and social organisation