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The EPSU Congress “Time for Public Services!” starts in Bucharest


500 public service trade union leaders from across Europe, from Ukraine and Armenia to France and the UK,  meet in Bucharest to decide on EPSU’s priorities for the coming years, 18-20 June.

This event will set EPSU’s priorities for the coming years, including fighting the extreme right, building inclusive workplaces, opposing austerity, and advocating for a Europe that puts people, planet, and peace before profits.

Held every five years, EPSU’s Congress comes at a crucial moment. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the vital role of robust, well-funded public services, from health and social care and emergency response to waste management, municipalities, and public administration. Union leaders will debate cost-of-living crises, how to achieve higher wages through collective bargaining and how to respond to attacks on the right to strike. Congress delegates will address these issues head-on and develop strategies to strengthen public services and combat privatisation across Europe.

Key highlights:

  • Prominent speakers: Quentin Parrinello from the EU Tax Observatory; Ludovic Voet, confederal secretary of the ETUC; Daniel Bertossa of the global union Federation PSI. Hans Kluge, Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) European Region will join remotely.
  • Panels and discussions: Key topics will include strategies for trade union growth and development, mental health and COVID-19, public energy, and the fight against fascism and racism.
  • Programme of Action: Delegates will debate and adopt an action plan focusing on:
  1. Securing peace, democracy, equality, rights, and freedoms.
  2. Reclaiming and strengthening public services.
  3. Advocating for a green, digital, and socially just transition.
  4. Ensuring quality jobs and services.
  5. Building and strengthening public service trade unions.
  • Election of new leadership: The Congress will elect EPSU’s new President and other key positions, shaping the future direction of the organisation.

Lithuanian trade unions are represented at the Congress by Dalia Jakutavičė, president of the Lithuanian Industry Trade Union, Rūta Kiršienė, chairperson of the Lithuanian Health Protection Workers’ Trade Union, and Alina Tankeliun, chairperson of the Youth Center of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation.

Dalia Jakutavičė is a member of the Credentials Committee of the Congress.