OPENING SESSION

OPENING SESSION

Programme
14 November
14:00
OPENING SESSION

  • Welcome by Brenda O’Brien, Manager of the Brussels Liaison Office, EU-OSHA

  • How do we lighten the load?
    Discussion led by William Cockburn, EU-OSHA Interim Executive Director with:

  • Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

  • Yolanda Díaz Pérez, Second Vice President and Minister of Labour and Social Economy, Spanish Government

  • Idoia Mendia Cueva, Second Vice President and Minister of Labour and Employment, Basque Government

  • Dragoş Pîslaru, Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament

  • Video statement by:

  • Kateřina Štěpánková, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs representing the Czech EU Council Presidency

  • How does the world’s largest campaign on occupational safety and health make its mark? Moving forward on musculoskeletal disorders

  • Ignacio Doreste, Senior Advisor, ETUC

  • Isaline Ossieur, Adviser, Social Affairs Department, BusinessEurope

Speakers
Speakers
Brenda O’Brien (Manager of the Brussels Liaison Office, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA))

Brenda O’Brien is the Manager of the EU-OSHA Liaison Office in Brussels, representing the interests of the Agency in the EU institutions and other international and European organisations, and collaborating with the European Social Partners, companies and stakeholders engaged in workplace health and safety. Previously, Brenda worked in the Bilbao headquarters, focusing on the Agency’s campaigns and SME funding programmes.

Before that, Brenda worked in Brussels for several years with the European trade unions, specialising in the European Social Dialogue, advocacy activities, press and campaign work.

Brenda holds an honours degree in European Studies from the University of Limerick, and a postgraduate Master of Letters (Sociology) from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Brenda O’Brien (Manager of the Brussels Liaison Office, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA))
William Cockburn (Interim Executive Director, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA))

William Cockburn has worked at the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work since 1998 where he focused on the areas of research coordination, emerging risks and was responsible for the first European survey of enterprises on new and emerging risks (ESENER). In charge since 2012 of the EU-OSHA’s Prevention and Research Unit, which develops the OSH content for the agency, he is currently the Agency’s Interim Executive Director. Born in the UK, William trained first as a lawyer and then as an ergonomist. Prior to joining EU-OSHA, he worked in academic research investigating company safety culture and in the private sector as an ergonomics consultant and research manager for projects in health and safety at work.

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Master of Science degree in ergonomics.

William Cockburn (Interim Executive Director, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA))
Nicolas Schmit (European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights)

Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, he served as a Member of the European Parliament for the social-democratic Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei following his election in May 2019. From 2009 to 2018, he held the position of Minister for Labour and Employment in the Luxembourgish government. In 2004, he was appointed Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Following a long career of public service, he took up duty as Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU in 1998 for a six-year term.

Nicolas Schmit holds a Doctorate in International Economic Relations and a Masters in French Literature from the University of Aix-Marseille.

Nicolas Schmit (European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights)
Kateřina Štěpánková (Deputy Minister of Section for Employment, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs)

2020
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Deputy Minister of Section for Employment

2019
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Director of the Employment and Occupation Department

2013
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Head of the Unit for International Employment Cooperation

2012
College of Economics and Management, Prague, Czech Republic
Director of the Economic Institute

2010 – 2011
Institute of Pedagogical and Psychological Counselling, Czech Republic
General Project Manager

2007 – 2011
Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Prague
Vice-Rector for Study Affairs

2006 – 2007
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports - Centre for International Services, Czech Republic
Director

2004 – 2006
Prague City Hall
Head of the International Affairs Department

2003 – 2004
Tutor, s.r.o
HR specialist

2003 – 2004
Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University
French Language Teacher

2002 – 2003
Institut Français de Prague
Assistant to the General Secretary

1995 – 2002
Faculty of Philosophy, Charles University
Head of the International Relations Office

Kateřina Štěpánková (Deputy Minister of Section for Employment, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs)
Yolanda Díaz Pérez (Second Vicepresident of the Spanish Government and Minister of Labour and Social Economy)

Ms Yolanda Díaz Pérez was born in Fene (Spain) in 1971. She is the Second Vicepresident of Spain since July 2021 and Minister of Labour and Social Economy since January 2020.

She completed a Degree in Law and post-graduate studies in labour relations, urban planning law and human resources. She also received training in Social Protection, labour contracts, administration and gender.

After creating her own Law Firm in Ferrol, (A Coruña), she was elected successively as member of Ferrol City Council (2007), the Regional Parliament of Galicia (2012), and the Congress of Deputies (Spain’s’ National Parliament, 2016). In January 2020, Ms Díaz was appointed Minister of Labour and Social Economy; in March 2021 she took office as Third Vicepresident; and in July 2021 as Second Vicepresident of Spain.

As Minister, she has promoted the transformation of the Spanish labour market encouraging quality and decent work, in order to overcome historical deficiencies and revitalize labour relations both in the field of legislative innovation and public policies.

On the political level, Yolanda Díaz leads the Spanish left with an emphatic discourse based on dialogue and consensus. She has launched the “Sumar” initiative, a grassroots movement that seeks to renew ideas and imaginaries to build the country of the future with the civil society.

Yolanda Díaz Pérez (Second Vicepresident of the Spanish Government and Minister of Labour and Social Economy)
Idoia Mendia Cueva (Deputy President and Regional Minister of Labour and Employment of the Basque Government)

Idoia Mendia is Deputy President of the Basque Government and heads the areas of Labour and Employment, tackling profound transformations linked to the consequences of the pandemic and those of the demographic, energy and digital transitions. As part of these changes, and as head of the Basque Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, she has led the new 2026 Occupational Health and Safety Strategy, which represents a paradigm shift, as it no longer focuses solely on protective measures in the workplace but extends to people wherever they work.

Idoia Mendia holds a degree in Law from the University of Deusto, a postgraduate degree in International and European Relations from the Amsterdam School of International Relations, is a lawyer and has held various public positions in local councils, Parliament and the Basque Government. She has also been leader of the PSE-EE/PSOE, and since October 2021 she has been Secretary for Studies and Programmes of the Federal Executive Committee of the PSOE.

Idoia Mendia Cueva (Deputy President and Regional Minister of Labour and Employment of the Basque Government)
Dragoş Pîslaru (Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament)

Dragoș Pîslaru is a Romanian economist and politician. As member of the European Parliament, he is the acting chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL). He is also an active member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) and the Tax Matters (FISC). He has joined the European Parliament in 2019, part of the Romanian delegation REPER, which is affiliated to the European political family Renew Europe.

He is a graduate of the Faculty of International Economic Relations within the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE) in Bucharest with a Bachelor's Degree in International Economics. He attended postgraduate courses, obtaining a diploma of ‘In-depth Studies in European Integration’ within the ASE. He holds a Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom, and a Diploma of Entrepreneurship - Case Study Centered Learning at Harvard Business School. He obtained a PhD in economic sciences with a thesis held at the National Institute of Economic Research, within the Romanian Academy.

Dragoş Pîslaru (Chair of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, European Parliament)
Isaline Ossieur (Junior Adviser, Social Affairs department BusinessEurope)

Isaline Ossieur is a Junior Adviser in the Social Affairs department of BusinessEurope, responsible for the following policy areas: health and safety; industrial relations; and equal opportunities. Prior to joining BusinessEurope, Isaline worked as a policy officer at the European Federation of Education Employers and as a project officer for the European NGO sector in Brussels. She started her professional career as an economic and political trainee at the Embassy of Belgium to Canada in Ottawa. Isaline holds a double Master’s degree in law and general economics and studied at the University of Ghent in Belgium and the University of Bergen in Norway. Her mother tongue is Dutch, she speaks English and French fluently and has an intermediate level of Spanish.

Isaline Ossieur (Junior Adviser, Social Affairs department BusinessEurope)
Ignacio Doreste (Senior Advisor, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC))

Ignacio Doreste is a senior advisor at ETUC working on the dossiers of labour market and employment; self-employment, atypical work, and the platform economy; occupational health and safety; and organising workers. He graduated on Psychology in the Autonomous University of Madrid and he holds Masters on Human Resources Management (Open University of Catalunya), International Aid and Cooperation for Development (Complutense University of Madrid) and Clinical Psychology (Spanish Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychology). He works for the European Trade Union Confederation since 2013. Before, he was engaged in the Spanish trade union movement since 2009.

Ignacio Doreste (Senior Advisor, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC))
OPENING SESSION
15:00
GOOD PRACTICE AWARDS CEREMONY


  • Presentation of the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards 2020 -2022 by Professor Ivars Vanadziņš, Chair of the Awards Jury

  • Hand-over of certificates by Commissioner Schmit, the EU-OSHA interim Executive Director, the Chair of the Awards Jury and other present VIPs

  • Statements by representatives from award winning organisations

Speakers
Speakers
Nicolas Schmit (European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights)

Nicolas Schmit took up office as European Commissioner responsible for Jobs and Social Rights in December 2019. Prior to this, he served as a Member of the European Parliament for the social-democratic Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Aarbechterpartei following his election in May 2019. From 2009 to 2018, he held the position of Minister for Labour and Employment in the Luxembourgish government. In 2004, he was appointed Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Following a long career of public service, he took up duty as Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the EU in 1998 for a six-year term.

Nicolas Schmit holds a Doctorate in International Economic Relations and a Masters in French Literature from the University of Aix-Marseille.

Nicolas Schmit (European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights)
Ivars Vanadziņš (Director of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health of Riga Stradins University)

Ivars Vanadziņš, PhD, Dr. med., is currently working as director of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health of Riga Stradins University (Latvia) and has almost 20 years of experience in the field of occupational safety and health. He graduated as physician and has a certificate in occupational health. In 2008 he defended his PhD degree in occupational health.

Ivars Vanadziņš has been working with research and training projects for more than 20 years and has also been involved in development of national legal framework supporting Ministry of Welfare of Latvia. He has been in charge of several research projects both in Latvia and internationally. His experience also involves expertise for projects in other countries, involving fieldwork research activities on specific topics of occupational safety and health, that also includes preparation of case studies used in development of training materials and legal requirements in several industries. His daily tasks include also preparation of various information materials and articles on many OSH issues as well as participation in national and international information activities.

Ivars Vanadziņš (Director of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health of Riga Stradins University)
GOOD PRACTICE AWARDS CEREMONY
15:45
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Speakers