Mobilisation for the protection of Sunday at European level
A Conference to relaunch the debate on Sunday protection at European level will be held on 24 March in the European Parliament in Brussels. It is organised by the MEPs Thomas Mann (EPP, Germany) and Patrizia Toia (S&D, Italy) together with the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation. Several European trade unions, civil society organisations and Churches support the conference. László Andor, the new EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs will take the floor, as well as numerous experts and MEPs.
The European Commission will soon be presenting a new draft of the "Working Time Directive". In its initial 1993 version the Directive stipulated that Sunday should be « in principle » the weekly day of rest for European workers. This reference had been withdrawn in 1996 by the European Court of Justice, on the grounds that the European legislator had not given sufficient reasons as to a link between a work-free Sunday and the protection of workers' health.
Meanwhile, recent studies have demonstrated the existence of a strong link between workers' health and a work-free Sunday. Furthermore, a common weekly rest day for the whole of society allows families to spend time with each other, and all citizens to engage in cultural, spiritual and social activities. Sunday moreover strengthens the social cohesion of our societies, which has been undermined by the current economic crisis. It therefore represents a precious achievement, which should be recognised as a pillar of the European Social Model.
That is why COMECE supports the initiative of the MEPs Thomas Mann and Patrizia Toia and invites every interested person and organisation to take part in this Conference.
Wednesday 24 March 2010, 16h30-19h30 in the European Parliament
Building JAN, Room 2Q2, Rue Wiertz, B-1047 Brussels
Registration required (access badge) by Friday 12 March via:
Fax : +32 (0) 22 84 93 18
Download the programme and invitation here.