27 September 1999
The way now seems to be clear for the creation of Union Network International (UNI), bringing together four existing International Trade Secretariats: the International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical Employees (FIET); the Communications International (CI); the Media and Entertainment International (MEI); and the International Graphical Federation (IGF). The new "super-union" would bring together up to 800 unions with over 15 million members from more than 140 countries around the globe in the rapidly converging fields of new technology, communications and services.
27 September 1999
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), with the support of the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) have organised for 5 October 1999 a repeat of the day of action they held in September 1998 (EU9809127F ) under the banner /Fatigue kills/. The aim of the "international road transport action day", in which over 100,000 drivers worldwide were due to participate, was to highlight the health hazards to drivers and the general public of excessively long working hours. The protest was intended to underline the trade unions' demands for the limitation of working time to a maximum of 48 hours per week in line with International Labour Organisation Convention No. 153 on hours of work and rest periods (road transport) , through adoption of legislation at national level in each country. In Europe, unions are demanding the implementation of European Commission proposals  to legislate to limit working hours in road transport to an average of 48 hours per week (EU9901144F ). Working time negotiations between ETF and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) had broken down in September 1999 (EU9809127F ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/industrial-relations-undefined-working-conditions/social-partners-fail-to-reach-agreement-on-working-time-in-road-transport  http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/public/50normes/ilolex/pdconv.pl?host=status01=iloeng=154=1=(C153  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/soc-dial/labour/com98-662/com662en.pdf  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-working-conditions/commission-proposes-directives-to-end-exclusion-of-sectors-from-working-time-directive  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/industrial-relations-undefined-working-conditions/social-partners-fail-to-reach-agreement-on-working-time-in-road-transport
27 September 1999
The Council of Economic and Financial Affairs Ministers reached agreement on 8 October 1999 on a Directive amending Directive 77/388/EEC on tax harmonisation , enabling Member States, on an experimental basis, to apply a reduced rate of value-added tax (VAT) on certain labour-intensive services. The new Directive was to be formally adopted at a subsequent Council meeting.  http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=en&numdoc=31977L0388&model=guichett
27 Juli 1999
An informal Labour and Social Affairs Council of Ministers meeting was held under the Finnish Presidency in Oulu, Finland from 8 to 10 July 1999, with the participation of the European-level social partners and the European Parliament. In line with the priorities of Finnish labour market policy in recent years (FI9708125F ), the Finnish government - which took over the EU Presidency in July 1999 - was keen to shift the focus of labour market policy away from youth unemployment towards the problems facing older workers. Ministers expressed concern at the lack of older workers in the labour market.  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined-social-policies/finland-launches-a-five-year-national-programme-for-older-workers
27 Juli 1999
The new President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi- chosen by the EU Member States and approved by the European Parliament- announced his new 19-member team of Commissioners on 9 July 1999, by common accord with the Member States. The first meeting of the proposed new-look Commission took place on 16 July. Few of the sitting Commissioners survived the shake-out following the allegations of irregularities which had beset the outgoing administration. On announcing his team, Mr Prodi said that: "when I accepted the job of Commission President, I promised to launch a new era of change in the Commission. The Commission needs it. The European Parliament and Member States have asked for it. The European public has urged us to carry it out. This is what I intend to deliver, starting from today.".
27 Juli 1999
On 14 July 1999, the European Commission adopted a Communication entitled A concerted strategy for modernising social protection  (COM(99)347 final). The Communication emphasises the key role played by social protection systems in supporting public health and well-being and in redistributing wealth. It is argued that, without social security transfers, nearly 40% of EU households would be living in relative poverty (compared with the actual rate of 17%). Spending on social protection accounts for an average of 28.5% of GDP.  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/soc-prot/social/com99-347/com99-347_en.pdf
27 Juni 1999
In the run-up to the European Council meeting held in Cologne on 3-4 June 1999, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) reinforced its support for the German Presidency's proposal for an "employment pact" (EU9905174N ). It argued that an effective strategy for reducing unemployment was necessary to strengthen the European Union's credibility with workers and the public. In a statement on the eve of the summit , ETUC welcomed the inclusion of the employment chapter  in the Amsterdam Treaty, which came into force on 1 May 1999 (EU9905175N ), and the process of formulating and implementing Employment Guidelines  (EU9810130F ), but argued that in itself this was insufficient. It strongly argued that labour market policy measures had to be effectively combined with growth-oriented economic policy measures: "active employment and labour market policies coupled to essential economic reforms can help create the jobs Europe needs only if they are part of a strong growth scenario than we have today."  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/german-presidency-presents-draft-employment-pact  http://www.etuc.org/press/Highlight/pr14e.cfm  http://ue.eu.int/Amsterdam/en/traiteco/en/conso2/cons225.htm  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/amsterdam-treaty-enters-into-force  http://europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/empl&esf/empl99/guide_en.htm  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/draft-employment-guidelines-for-1999-emphasise-continuity
27 Mai 1999
In April 1999, the German EU Presidency issued Member States with a draft version of a European employment pact entitled /European employment pact - Closer cooperation to boost employment and economic reforms in Europe/. The idea of such a pact (EU9902156N ) to reinforce the European employment strategy (EU9905171F ) had been endorsed by the December 1998 Vienna European Council (EU9812141N ).  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/uncertainty-over-definition-of-european-employment-pact  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/communication-emphasises-need-to-coordinate-economic-and-employment-policies  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/vienna-summit-reaffirms-employment-as-priority
27 Mai 1999
After having been ratified by all Member States, the Amsterdam Treaty  finally entered into force on 1 May 1999. The Treaty (EU9707135F ) was formally signed in October 1997 and the final ratification instruments were deposited by France and Greece in March 1999.  http://ue.eu.int/Amsterdam/en/traiteco/en1.htm  www.eurofound.europa.eu/ef/observatories/eurwork/articles/undefined/amsterdam-treaty-brings-small-advances-for-employment-and-social-policy
27 Mai 1999
A European conference on gender balance in decision-making was held in Paris on 15-17 April 1999, organised with the support of the European Commission by a number of French ministries. The event focused on balanced participation in political and professional life and the role of NGO s and social partners in promoting a gender balance. At the closing session, a declaration on women in decision-making was signed by ministers from 13 EU Member States. The declaration aims to ensure balanced participation by women and men and recommends that European institutions, governments and political parties take measures both in the electoral field and in the appointment of members of advisory bodies. Furthermore, the French government presented an action plan defining a strategy for partnership, including changing women's image in society and steps for renewed democracy to achieve parity in participation.