Partners in the project

Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (KNSB/CITUB) - promoter of the project

The Confederation of the Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) established in 1990 is the biggest representative trade union organisation in Bulgaria representing the interests of about 380 000 workers and employees in Bulgaria. CITUB has been affiliated to ETUC and ITUC since1995. CITUB has 29 Regional Coordinating Councils in the country, 156 Municipal Trade Union Councils and affiliates 34 sector/branch federations, trade unions and 5 associated organisations unifying self-employed, farmers etc. The organization has an Institute for Social and Trade Union Research and participates in several NGOs: Workers' Education and Training College; Institute for Industrial Relations and Management "OKOM"; Public Women's Parliament; Youth Forum "21 Century".

CITUB's main areas of work are: labor and trade union rights; employment; social dialogue and collective bargaining, vocational education and training; working time and organization of work; health & safety at work; wages, salaries, related earnings and social benefits; social security and social assistance; quality of working life /including information, consultation and workers' participation/ & living standards; rights and interests of disadvantaged groups /minorities, disabled people, youth, women etc.; social consequences of globalization, economic transition and EU integration processes, etc.

           CITUB has participated actively as a constructive partner in many European and international projects aimed at building up and strengthening the European social model, the values of the civil society, the promotion of the rights of workers and employees, etc. Some of the most important projects in the last five years are:

  • TUC EU Project ICICLE "International Cooperation on Information & Consultation Legislation in Europe UK - Bulgaria" (2005-2006)
  • UGT/ISCOD Spain AECI Project Trade Union Capacity Building (2005-2007)
  • UGT/ISCOD Spain AECI Project The Unions Participations on Migration Flows - Bilateral Project 2006/2007
  • Anticipating Changes in Europe: Strengthening information, consultation and participation in EWC through communication and coordination VS/2007/0609 (2007 - 2008) - partner
  • Work Life Balancing In the Trouble Spot of Employers and Employees Goals: Enhancing a Dialogue on the Social and Economic Impact - BILANCIA (Ref. No: VS/2007/0375) funded under Budget heading 'Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG' of the EC (2007 - 2008) - promoter
  • Response of Trade Unions in New Member States to the Economic Crises VS/2009/0189 funded under Budget heading 'Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG' of the EC (2009 - 2010) - promoter
  • Improvement of the Process of Workplace Information and Consultation for a Better Employees' and Workers' Representation in Europe - INFORMIA VS/2010/0142 funded under Budget heading 'Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG' of the EC - promoter
  • Security through the law, flexibility through the collective labour agreements BG051-PO 001-2.1.03, Operational program "Human resources development" 2009-2013 (ESF) - promoter
  • Health, safety and environment in the workplace - project funded under the Norwegian Cooperation Program for Bulgaria and Romania (2009-2011)
  • Communication Techniques and Information Management Training for European Works Councils Representatives (COM.IN.TRA) funded under Budget heading 'Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG' of the EC (2010-2011) - partner

In the framework of the project INFORMIA, the INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL AND TRADE UNION RESEARCH (ISTUR) at CITUB will implement all the scientific and research activities.
The Institute for Social and Trade Union research is a non-governmental research organisation at the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB). It was established on 10th of April 1990. ISTUR is committed:
  • To provide research products of high quality tailored to the needs of social partners and to the development of industrial relations in the country based on the best EU countries practice.
  • To contribute to a sound understanding and solving of questions related to industrial relations, labour market and promotion of high social and working standards thus supporting the realisation of the values of the European social model in the country.

ISTUR employs 12 researchers, four of them research associates with PhD degree in economics and 6 researchers with university degree in economics, sociology, political science, statistics, psychology, philology. ISTUR employs also two assistants, the first responsible for statistical data collection and the second for finance and human resource issues.

The main priority of ISTUR is to analyse the processes associated with social and economic reforms in Bulgaria in the transition to a market economy and the prospects for the industrial relations development (actors, processes, institutions) and for the improvement of the employment and working conditions. ISTUR is the only research organisation dealing exceptionally with these issues.

ISTUR provides:
Research; Training and Consultancy in the field
  • industrial relations;
  • trade union activity and trade union movement;
  • social partnership, social dialogue, collective bargaining;
  • development of social partners;
  • labour market and labour market policies;
  • restructuring and privatisation;
  • working conditions;
  • social policy (incomes, cost of living, living standards, inflation and income protection);
  • European industrial relations
A good relationship between these activities is promoted to foster quality and innovation.

ISTUR provides:
  • projects according to its research programme
  • projects carried out as comparative, in co-operation with other research institutes
  • projects funded and assigned by:
  • CITUB and national institutions (government, branch trade unions, NGOs)
  • international organisations (ILO, ILO-SRO, Budapest, ICFTU, PSI, ETUI-REHS, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, World Bank, European commission and others)

In the last years ISTUR has been involved and is still participating in various national and international research projects, including comparative with International Labour Organisation (ILO); European Foundation for the Improvement of the Working and Living Conditions, European Trade Union Institute (ETUI); Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Germany; Economic Policy Institute, Washington, USA, AK-Linz, DGB, LO-Norway, TUC-UK, CC.OO-Spain and other trade unions and trade union research institutes. In the last five years fellows of ISTUR implemented more than 30 projects and have participated on individual basis in many projects realized by other institutes.
The Institute publishes regular research works, working papers, brochures, monographs, Quarterly Information Bulletin "Living standards" (in Bulgarian and in English) and Quarterly Information Bulletin "Social Europe". Main macroeconomic indicators for demographic, economic and social development of Bulgaria data base, 1990 - 2009 - updated on quarterly basis; inbriefs, contributions to comparative studies, representativness surveys, thematic features and annual updates for the European Foundation - Dublin.

ISTUR is carrying out series of sociological surveys and educational programmes for training of trade unionists on important issues of reforms and industrial relations in Bulgaria: social dialogue, collective bargaining; social policy, social security; incomes and living standards, labour market; workers' participation in management and ownership; restructuring and privatisation; industrial relations in multinational companies; social dialogue, violence and stress at the workplace, working conditions, employees participation, etc.

ISTUR is the only organisation in the country that maintains parallel statistics to the National Statistical Institute for social policy purposes carrying out quarterly surveys on prices in all 28 districts of the country.

The Institute has established its own Resource center with publications of the main national and international institutions in areas of labour market, industrial relations, European integration, trade union movement and trade unions, social and economic policies. The Resource center maintains data bases on: statistical information and surveys; sociological surveys; surveys of ISTUR and other research institutes in the country; thematic translations of surveys and other publications of ILO, ICFTU, ETUI, Dublin Eurofound, and other international organisations.

The outcomes of the research activity of the Institute are used by the trade union confederations and their sectoral/branch member organizations, mainly the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria in negotiation with the government, in formulating the trade union strategy and positions and concluding agreements on important issues, in drafting analytical materials, statements, memoranda, legal documents. The results of research work of the Institute are also used by employer's organisations, government, tripartite bodies, research institutions, other organisations and NGOs.

Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA)

The Bulgarian Industrial Association - Union of the Bulgarian Business (BIA) is a voluntary, non-profit and non-governmental organization of the Bulgarian industry, established on 25 April 1980. BIA is an umbrella organization with a matrix structure, vertically representing the branch (sector) oriented organization and horizontally the regional and municipal organizations.

Members of BIA are:
  • Over 130 regional associations and local bodies of the business
  • Over 100 branch organizations constituting a mirror-image of the modern Bulgarian economy. The sector member organizations of BIA are nowadays side on 64 collective labour contracts and agreements
  • Over 42 000 active companies
  • Out of 300 top companies => 263 BIA members
  • Other collective members:
  • -  Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association; Confederation "Union of Bulgarian Industry"; Central Cooperative Union; Federation of the Scientific and Technical Unions; Union of the Productive Cooperatives, etc.
  • Scientific and educational units:
  • -   Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia University, Technical University, etc.

BIA defends the interests of its members in the state councils, international and other organizations by participating in partnership bodies on national, branch, and regional level; by its membership in international organizations; by mediation for overcoming and settlement of disputes between commercial subjects, between trade unions and employers, problems with the state administration, etc.

BIA - Union of the Bulgarian Business is a member of:
  • BUSINESSEUROPE - Confederation of the European Business
  • IOE - International Organization of Employers;
The Association is a partner and has signed contracts with more than 70 national industrial and entrepreneur organizations, descending from well developed countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa, as well as with American, Japanese and European institutions in the sphere of education, environment, and labour safety, health care and others.

BIA has been partner in diverse projects funded by international and national programmes:
  • Projects under the PHARE Programme of the EU - "Business Support Programme" I, II & III, directed to the strengthening of the food and drink industry, the textile industry, the "Business organisations as Single market integration players" (BOSMIP I and II);
  • Projects under the Leonardo da Vinci Programme: "GMO Food & Bio-Pollution Certification", "Virtual Online System for Education on Quality"; SafeStart - "Basic Safety Training For Jobseekers and Temporary Workers"
  • Projects under the 5th and 6th Framework Programmes of the EU: Innovation Relay Centre-Bulgaria; IST - Benchmarking of e-business solutions for SMEs in Western and Eastern Europe (BENE-BUS);
  • Projects under the TEMPUS Programme for strengthening the co-operation between industry and universities;
  • Projects within the bilateral co-operation with European employers' organisations and funded by the German, Italian and Dutch governments, Partnership programme with the Craft chamber "Koblenz", projects funded by USAID, etc.

Nowadays, BIA applies for, implements and participates actively in projects under the Operational programmes in Bulgaria (Human resource development OP, Administrative capacity OP), transnational cooperation programmes and programmes funded by the European Commission.

Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia / UATUC

The Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia is a voluntary and interest association of workers that works systematically aiming at improving the quality of jobs, working and living conditions for all people in Croatia. The work of the UATUC is completely independent of the employers, authorities, political parties and religious organizations.
The UATUC, as an autonomous and voluntary interest organization of trade unions, was established on the 13th of May 1990.
Today the UATUC affiliates 17 branch trade unions, organizes just above 100,000 members and 60,000 retired persons, the interests of which are also represented by the UATUC.
The UATUC employs 77 employees in 19 territorial offices, which makes us available all over Croatia.

17 signed branch collective agreements and over 600 signed collective agreements for the workers in companies clearly indicate the strength and efficiency of the largest trade union confederation in Croatia.

Recognizing a true role of a trade union in the development of a democratic society and the need for active participation in the decision-making process, the UATUC promotes the necessity to act in all fields of social and political life of the country, the effects of which will reflect on the wellbeing of the citizens of the Republic of Croatia, primarily of workers.

The UATUC is recognized as a relevant social partner of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and Croatian Employers' Association, and is active in the work of the Economic and Social Council, body whose task is to agree or bring the positions on economic and social guidelines of the official policy closer, and which cts as a social dialogue forum.





I Know My Rights! - Informing and raising awareness of workers' rights and trade union movement among young population - Information and training measures for workers' organisations

Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije


Partnership for Social Inclusion - Mutual Learning on Social Inclusion and Social Protection

Institute for Public Finances (Croatia)


Health and safety strategy for fire-fighters in the European Mediteranean Area - Information and training measures for workers' organisations

FP CIGL (Italy)


T.U.RNED for languages: improving foreign language learning in social dialogue to develop competitive knowledge-based economy and society - Information and training measures for workers' organisations

Comisiones Obreras (Spain)


SENC - Shared EWCs Negotiating Culture - Information, consultation and participation of representatives of undertakings

CIGL (Italy)


European Model for Mediation - A tool for equal opportunities on the labour market - Information and training measures for workers' organisations

Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije


Social dialogue, Employability and the Development of Employees' Qualifications - Industrial relations and social dialogue

CODIFOR-Afpi internationale


LINKS - Chances and Limits of European Works' Council in the Maritime Transport - Information, consultation and participation of representatives of undertakings

FILT-CGIL Regionale Toscana (Italy)


Institute for Economic and Social Research, Italy

IRES (Institute for Economic and Social Research) is an Italian non-profit association, founded by CGIL - the largest trade unions confederation of Italy - in 1979, following an initiative by influential and prestigious leaders such as former General Secretary of CGIL, Bruno Trentin, the ex Prime Minister Giuliano Amato, an appreciated intellectual as Vittorio Foa.

The institutional aims of the institute are as follows:
  • to plan, promote and organise research and advisory activities
  • to organise national and international meetings, conferences and seminars
  • to publish and disseminate the results of studies and researches

Besides providing an expert advice for trade union organizations the Institute has forged over time a network of relations and partnerships with domestic and international Universities, agencies and institutions defining for itself a role as a liaison between trade unions and the academic world.

By fully implementing a strictly interdisciplinary methodology, IRES combines economic and sociological research with studies conducted in the areas of law and industrial relations, privileging a comparative approach and focusing on an increasingly European and international dimension.

The complexity and the sheer range of the issues dealt with has led IRES to develop and set up several research divisions, each tackling diverse themes and involving expert consultants and specialised observatories.

Research Areas
They form the backbone of the Institute's operational structure:

Labour market
The Area analyses the changes that occur in the labour market, in the make-up of companies and in the redefinition of social organisation.

Research lines:
  • The new forms of labour: changes and outlook
  • Proactive labour policies and job creation policies
  • The labour market and new economy
  • Gender issues: women and the labour market

Industrial relations
The Area focuses on the legislation and legal instruments that govern the rights and duties of workers and of those players and processes that collectively govern employee-employer relations.

Research lines:
  • Industrial relations and Italian and comparative trade union laws
  • Wages, productivity and cost of labour
  • Industrial democracy and economics
  • Trade union penetration and comparative organisation models

Local development and industrial policy
The Area analyses manufacturing systems - at European, domestic and local levels - and the industrial and economic policies implemented at each of these levels.

Research lines:
  • Economic performance of local manufacturing systems (industrial districts and local employment systems)
  • Country development policies
  • Analysis by markets and sectors of the diffusion of IT and TLC
  • Analysis of trends in manufacturing and competitiveness in the domestic and European manufacturing systems
  • Economic performance in the South

Welfare and citizens' rights
Within the framework of welfare studies, the Area focuses above all on the emerging issues of social change and reform.

Research lines:
  • Local welfare
  • Social impact of ageing
  • Life trends and welfare
  • Combating poverty

Environment, territory and safety
The area's main task is to analyse the complex interrelations between environmental and social systems.

Research lines:
  • Environment and development of local systems
  • Environment, risk and busines
  • Urban sustainability
  • Safe and health at work

Observatories are a further aspect of our organisation. Their task is to carefully monitor issues of crucial interest so as to gather in-depth information.
IRES has established eight observatories on the following themes:
Observatory on the overall conditions of the economy
An instrument for the gathering of information on the state of the economy in Italy and in Europe.
Observatory on the hidden economy
Provides a constant monitoring of the hidden economy in Italy and of the measures that are taken to legalise it.
Observatory on public finance and on the way the economy is managed
Analyses the government's budgetary policies with regard specially to the south and the metropolitan areas.
Observatory on wages and collective bargaining
It monitors and analyses bargaining and wage trends in Italy and Europe.
Observatory on atypical work
A permanent tool monitoring atypical work. The observatory focuses above all on analysing the latest developments and changes within the labour market.
Observatory on immigration
A permanent observation point for the gathering of data on the phenomenon of immigration.
Observatory on ageing
A tool designed to gather and update information on the on-going socio-political debate relating to the issue of ageing.
Observatory on the employment of minors
Its principal aim is to reconstruct, through a series of in-depth analyses, the profiles of minors who begin work at a very young age. The Observatory works with the Employment Department of CGIL and with Fondazione Banco di Napoli to provide assistance to children.

From the outset, IRES has conducted a vast amount of research, grasping the changes underway in society by empiric observation, formulating theoretical hypotheses that have been the hallmark of its 29-year-old history.
IRES has been directing since 2002 the Studi & Ricerche series for the publishing house Ediesse, which includes some of the Institute's most significant works.
IRES' scientific output consists of a vast number of publications, including books, essays, articles and working papers, which can be consulted on its website.

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is the sole trade union confederation for Ireland, representing nearly 850,000 unionised workers in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Congress provides a range of advisory, training, communications and industrial relations services to its affiliated unions, who operate in all sectors of the economy. Congress is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation and to the International Trade Union Confederation.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has been involved in a wide variety of projects over the years. Recent EU co-funded projects led by Congress have included Leadership Initiative for Females in Trade Unions (LIFT) which was part-financed by the Equal Community Initiative, and The Role of Board-Level Employee Representatives in European Union Enterprises  which was funded by budget line 04030303.

Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL)

Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) is a constituent college of the University of London. The college has three faculties, 18 academic departments, and about 8,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 130 different countries. The campus is located slightly west of Egham, Surrey, within the boundary of the Greater London Urban Area, although outside of the M25 motorway and some 20 miles (32 km) from the geographic centre of London.

The Egham campus was founded in 1879 by the Victorian entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Holloway. Royal Holloway College was a women-only institution, and was officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria. Royal Holloway College became a member of the University of London in 1900. In 1945, the College began admitting male postgraduate students, and in 1965, male undergraduates. In 1985, Royal Holloway College merged with Bedford College (another formerly all-women's college in London which was founded in 1849 and, like Royal Holloway College, joined the University of London in 1900 and became fully co-educational in 1965). The merged college was named Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC), this remaining the official registered name of the College by Act of Parliament. The campus is dominated by the Founder's Building, a Grade I listed red-brick building which is modelled on the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley in France.

The School of Management at RHUL is a dynamic department bringing together talented students with academic staff who are working at the frontiers of their subjects. It aims to enrich lives and careers through research and teaching - providing an intellectually challenging and relevant education for students intending to pursue managerial, business and professional careers. The School of Management applies the insights of social science to the management of private, public and voluntary sector organisations. A shared feature of its research is the well-established international and comparative focus, with a strong historical, sociological and political-economic approach to management issues and activities. Research in the Management School is organised into several areas with an established international reputation. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 95% of research in the School of Management was judged to be of an international standard, placing it 19th (out of 90) in the overall Business and Management rankings, and 5th out of 15 London-based universities.

Royal Holloway as a whole was ranked 88th in the world, and 13th in the UK, in the Times Higher Eduation World University Rankings 2010-11.

Cyprus Workers Confederation-SEK

Brief History

The Cyprus Workers Confederation-SEK, established in 1944, is one of the most important social partners in Cyprus within the framework of tripartite cooperation.

SEK represents through its affiliated unions, workers in all sectors of the country's economic activity. The mass of members comes from the private sector, but SEK also represents the majority of workers in semi-governmental utilities and services and local authorities, as well as blue-collar public employees.

The main aims of SEK are to protect and safeguard the workers' rights and interests through collective bargaining and to influence the appropriate bodies in forming labour and economic policies through social dialogue on national, sectoral and company level.

Moreover, SEK plays a leading role in facing and tackling the new challenges arising from the continuous introduction of new technology, globalisation and harmonization as a result of the accession of Cyprus to the European Union.

The fighting spirit of SEK and the responsible policies adopted, resulted in gaining the required respect both by the workers themselves, as well as by all the other social actors. It would not be an exaggeration to highlight the fact that the achievement of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 and the small economic miracle achieved following the Turkish invasion and occupation of 38% of the island in 1974, bare the unfolding stamp of SEK.

Currently SEK is a well structured, equipped and well functioning trade union organization, promoting and protecting the rights and interests of the workers in a successful and effective way, being free and independent from any political influences and democratic in its way of functioning and decision taking policy.


SEK is the guiding body, policy maker and coordinator of the free trade unions of Cyprus, in regard to terms of employment, conditions of work, wages and salaries etc.

SEK has seven affiliated Trade Federations (Industrial Employees Federation, Construction Workers, Miners and Allied Trades Federation, Government, Military and Public Services Employees Federation, Transport, Petroleum and Agricultural Employees Federation, Private Employees Federation, Semi Governmental Employees Federation, Hotel and Catering Employees Federation), five labour centers (consisting of the local unions of each Federation in the district) and a number of specialized departments in supporting its activities and promoting its aims.

The highest decision and policy making body of SEK is the Pancyprian Congress held once every four years. Second in line is the General Council, the Executive Committee and lastly the Secretariat. The General Secretary of SEK is elected directly by the Congress delegates, the Federation General Secretaries are elected by each Federation's Congress, the District Secretaries by the Congress of each Labour Center and the same electoral procedure is followed for the election of the Secretaries and the Committees of local unions.

A constant and unchanged aim of the Cyprus Workers' Cofederation- SEK, is the continuous improvement of the workers' standard of living. Following a responsible and independent policy, away from any political or other obligations and aims, SEK since its establishment in 1944 is struggling for Freedom, Justice, Equality and Social Advancement.


SEK is a founder member of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), currently renamed to ITUC (following a merge with WCL) and an affiliated member to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) since 1981.

The active participation of SEK in these international/ European structures, provide the opportunity to promote the interests of all workers employed in Cyprus in a more direct, positive and effective way.

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