As in 2021, DECP has officially started the 2022 activities by organising a series of Flash Summits. Four summits were held in which 16 partner organisations took part. Although face-to-face meetings are preferred, these types of online meetings prove to be very efficient. DECP management and country managers can meet with their partners and discuss recent developments and achievements and the key needs of employer organisations to which DECP can provide technical and - to some extent - financial support.
All participants -executive directors and staff members- were welcomed by Mrs Ingrid Thijssen, president of the Board of DECP. In a video message she underlined the importance of the role of employers’ organisations as the voice of the private sector towards the government. Especially in this time when continuity of activity is not self-evident. Mr. Peter Bongaerts, director of DECP, presented the latest developments of 2021 and future perspectives in the short and long term. He focused in particular on continuing the support of partner organisations in the fields of membership management and developing social dialogue, DECP’s two main pillars.
The participants shared the specific developments in their respective countries regarding these topics. They indicated which challenges, developments and opportunities they see for the coming year. Overall, one of the findings is that blended working is an indispensable way of working that contributes to visibility, frequent contact with (potential) members and consultation with social partners. No matter how frustrating and drastic the consequences of COVID are, employers' organisations must continue their work, because that is what their members expect of them. And they do it tirelessly!
This is evident from the many actions that have been carried out with some support from DECP to recruit and retain members. In most cases with positive results. In fact, several employers’ organisations were able to report an increase in membership. Activities in the field of social dialogue continued unabated, while in various countries the focus was partly on specific sectors. Confidence in cooperation with employee representatives and governments seems to have increased in several countries.
As a follow-up to these summits, the DECP country managers will discuss the activities that have priority in 2022 with the individual countries. There is great confidence that the cooperation will also be fruitful this year. We're looking forward to it!
DECP makes use of the studio of the Dutch employers' organisation VNO-NCW to facilitate the Flash Summits