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CSC, a European trade union

The CSC always strived for a strong European trade union action and an efficient European trade union confederation. For the CSC, the ETUC and its Industry Federations should be pluralist and representative for all trade union organizations of the continent, the cornerstone of the social countervailing force in the European Union and should act to ensure the defense of its members and of the workers across Europe.  

The CSC also actively participates in the Economic and Social Committee of the EU and has taken the initiative for consultation and networking with its European trade union partners. 

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

The idea of uniting the European trade unions gained force in the 1950s. The Schuman Plan for the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) created the need for the trade union movement to develop a representative organisation to tackle common issues. In 1972 an agreement was reached on the setting-up of a new organisation, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). All in all the ETUC represents over 50 million workers in 33 countries. 

The "trade pillars" of the ETUC are the Trade Federations (e.g. metalworking, transport, public services, building and woodworking). They have the task of coordinating trade union action in their sectors. The ETUC also covers European Works Councils. The European Directive on the Information and Consultation of Employees in transnational enterprises represents a big step forward for European Trade Unionism. It gives unions the chance to organise better in multinationals, to increase their scope for action and, in the longer term, to plan common actions. The ETUC coordinates trade unions’ positions and monitors implementation in the different countries to ensure that the Directive is being correctly and evenly applied. 


ECOSOC is the Economic and Social Council of the European Union. Its task is to provide advice on all EU directives, recommendations and action programmes regardless of their subject matter. ECOSOC is composed of representatives of various groups – national workers’ organisations, national employers’ organisations and a miscellaneous group comprising representatives of consumers, farmers, etc. The ACV-CSC has two seats in the Economic and Social Council. 

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