The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to have a great effect on our work at the EZA Secretariat in Königswinter and the activities of our 70 member centres in 29 European countries. The Covid-19 situation has meant that many educational activities still cannot take place in the usual and enjoyable face-to-face format. Hybrid and online seminars have become almost routine – and we must thank the flexibility of our member centres, who have continued to expand their expertise and adapt new techniques to their needs and those of the seminar participants.
In the 2022/2023 educational year, we are once again faced with the specific challenge of not being able to foresee how long the coronavirus will be with us. Once again, we are hoping to organise various seminars as face-to-face events, as we still consider this to be the best form of exchange in many cases. Experience from the past educational year has shown that we must continue to also design and plan online formats. EZA and its member centres are prepared for this after the experience of the past few years.
Covid-19 remains a major factor, also as a topic. Six projects in the current educational programme deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on employment and social affairs and the reconstruction measures.
The largest topic of discussion in this educational year is „working conditions“. This topic will address aspects as diverse as human rights, social justice, the European minimum wage or social security systems.
We are also tackling current issues that are equally high on the agenda in Brussels, including the further implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Green Deal and the fair transition.
Other topics will be the integration of migrants and refugees and the role of workers‘ organisations, the situation of young workers in the labour market and the importance of vocational training, equal opportunities in the labour market, the integration of particularly disadvantaged groups in the labour market, the digital transformation in the workplace, health and safety at work, capacity building and the place of social dialogue in European society.
We will continue the special project for workers‘ organisations in the Western Balkans. The target group of our training seminars are multipliers from trade unions and other workers‘ organisations, notably young professionals.