Ahead of EU elections: what is next for work-free Sunday?
In a time of digitalisation and a rapidly changing world of work, participants agreed that Sunday is of unique value for the social cohesion of our society and the well-being of the citizens.
After an internal workshop session in the morning, the members and supporters of the European Sunday Alliance presented key challenges of their work, and then incurred into a debate with MEPs and EU elections candidates on possible actions for the next five-year mandate of the European Parliament and the EU Commission.
Markus Blümel, coordinator of the Austrian Sunday Alliance, reported that current changes in national legislation were undermining the network's objective of improving the work-life balance of Austrian citizens. He showed that the new law would allow for a maximum working time of 12 hours and presented how the Austrian Sunday Alliance, together with its member organisations and other like-minded actors, organised demonstrations and public actions to oppose the legal revision.
Representing the Croatian Sunday Alliance, Fr. Boze Vuleta ofm outlined how a network of different civil society organisations and social partners have joined forces in the youngest EU Member State and set up the alliance in 2018.
In the following discussion with MEPs Thomas Mann (EPP), Evelyn Regner (S&D), Marijana Petir (EPP) and the EP elections candidate Gabriele Bischoff (S&D), the participants exchanged on the outcomes of the negotiations of the recently agreed EU work-life balance directive and examined next steps towards EU policies that help citizens to find common rest time for recreation and life in society and family.