Partners in the project

Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria

The Confederation of the Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) established in 1990 is the biggest representative trade union organisation in Bulgaria representing the interests of about 380 000 workers and employees in Bulgaria. CITUB has been affiliated to ETUC and ITUC since1995. CITUB has 29 Regional Coordinating Councils in the country, 156 Municipal Trade Union Councils and affiliates 34 sector/branch federations, trade unions and 5 associated organisations unifying self-employed, farmers etc. The organization has an Institute for Social and Trade Union Research and participates in several NGOs: Workers' Education and Training College; Institute for Industrial Relations and Management "OKOM"; Public Women's Parliament; Youth Forum "21 Century".

CITUB's main areas of work are: labor and trade union rights; employment; social dialogue and collective bargaining, vocational education and training; working time and organization of work; health & safety at work; wages, salaries, related earnings and social benefits; social security and social assistance; quality of working life /including information, consultation and workers' participation/ & living standards; rights and interests of disadvantaged groups /minorities, disabled people, youth, women etc.; social consequences of globalization, economic transition and EU integration processes, etc.

CITUB has participated actively as a constructive partner in many European and international projects aimed at building up and strengthening the European social model, the values of the civil society, the promotion of the rights of workers and employees, etc. Some of the most important projects in the last five years are:

  • Security through the law, flexibility through the collective bargaining BG 051PO001-2.1.03 - (2008 - 2014) Operational Program Human resources development
  • Information bridge "Bulgaria - Cyprus" BG051PO001-7.0.07-0154-C0001, Without borders, Operational Program Human Resources Development - ESF (2013-2014)
  • UPTA Spain - European network for the support of self-employed and economically dependent work - TRADE - VS/2012/0434, DG "Employment, social affairs and equal opportunities" (partner)
  • The Role of Information and Consultation of Employees and Workers at National and European Levels for the Improvement of Competitiveness, Employment Growth and Better Implementation of the European Social Model - INFORMIA II (VS/2011/0277) - Budget heading 'Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG (2011-2012)
  • CC.OO (Spain) Communication Techniques and Information Management Training for European Works Councils Representatives (COM.IN.TRA) Budget heading 'Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG' of the EC (2010-2011) (partner)
  • Health, safety and environment in the workplace - project funded under the Norwegian Cooperation Program for Bulgaria and Romania (2009-2011)
  • Response of Trade Unions in New Member States to the Economic Crises VS/2009/0189 - Budget heading 'Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion DG' of the EC (2009 - 2010) - (promoter)
  • Improvement of the Process of Workplace Information and Consultation for a Better Employees and Workers Representation in Europe INFORMIA VS/2010/0142 (2009-2010) DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities 
  • Developing e-learning Tools for Trade Union Education DeLTTUE (2009-2011) Lifelong Learning Programme 
  • Administrative Capacity Operational Programme for Bulgaria Project 07-23-162 "KNOWLEDGEABLE AND CAPABLE PARTNERS", co-financed by the European Social Fund and Bulgarian Government (2008-2009) 
  • Learning Needs Analysis of Trade Union Trainers - Match 071201-091130 Lifelong Learning Programme

Bulgarian Industrial Association

The Bulgarian Industrial Association - Union of the Bulgarian Business (BIA) is a voluntary, non-profit and non-governmental organization of the Bulgarian industry, established on 25 April 1980. BIA is an umbrella organization with a matrix structure, vertically representing the branch (sector) oriented organization and horizontally the regional and municipal organizations.

Members of BIA are:

  • Over 130 regional associations and local bodies of the business
  • Over 100 branch organizations constituting a mirror-image of the modern Bulgarian economy. The sector member organizations of BIA are nowadays side on 64 collective labour contracts and agreements
  • Over 42 000 active companies
  • Out of 300 top companies - 263 BIA members
  • Other collective members -  Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association; Confederation "Union of Bulgarian Industry"; Central Cooperative Union; Federation of the Scientific and Technical Unions; Union of the Productive Cooperatives, etc.
  • Scientific and educational units -   Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia University, Technical University, etc.

BIA defends the interests of its members in the state councils, international and other organizations by participating in partnership bodies on national, branch, and regional level; by its membership in international organizations; by mediation for overcoming and settlement of disputes between commercial subjects, between trade unions and employers, problems with the state administration, etc.

BIA - Union of the Bulgarian Business is a member of:

  • BUSINESSEUROPE - Confederation of the European Business
  • IOE - International Organization of Employers

The Association is a partner and has signed contracts with more than 70 national industrial and entrepreneur organizations, descending from well developed countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa, as well as with American, Japanese and European institutions in the sphere of education, environment, and labour safety, health care and others.


BIA has been partner in diverse projects funded by international and national programs.
Some of the currently impemented projects:

  • Development of Workforce Competence Assessment System by Sectors and Regions (01.11.2009 -30.10.2014),
  • Enterprise Europe Network (01.01.2006 - 31.12.2014)
  • CEE YOUTH - Supporting youth employment in Central and Eastern Europe (01.12.2012 - 30.11.2013)
  • TOOL - Training course and Online Osh resources for Line managers (01.12.2012 - 30.11.2014)
  • CONTRACTERANTO - a communication-tool for high risk work environments where non-native speakers are involved (01.01.2011 - 01.01.2014)
  • GO4EMAS: Boosting the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) in European SMEs through the EEN (01.01.2012 - 31.12.2013)
  • EEN-PACT: Bringing together the Enterprise Europe Network to improve environmental management in the leather, paper, chemicals and textiles (01.01.2012 - 31.12.2013)
  • OPTIMES - Opportunities to improve energy for SMEs (01.01.2012 - 31.12.2013)

Irish Congress of Trade Unions

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is the sole trade union confederation for Ireland, representing nearly 850,000 unionised workers in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Congress provides a range of advisory, training, communications and industrial relations services to its affiliated unions, who operate in all sectors of the economy. Congress is affiliated to the European Trade Union Confederation and to the International Trade Union Confederation.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has been involved in a wide variety of projects over the years. Recent EU co-funded projects led by Congress have included Leadership Initiative for Females in Trade Unions (LIFT) which was part-financed by the Equal Community Initiative, and The Role of Board-Level Employee Representatives in European Union Enterprises  which was funded by budget line 04030303.

Royal Holloway University of London

Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL) is a constituent college of the University of London. The college has three faculties, 18 academic departments, and about 8,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from over 130 different countries. The campus is located slightly west of Egham, Surrey, within the boundary of the Greater London Urban Area, although outside of the M25 motorway and some 20 miles (32 km) from the geographic centre of London.

The Egham campus was founded in 1879 by the Victorian entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Holloway. Royal Holloway College was a women-only institution, and was officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria. Royal Holloway College became a member of the University of London in 1900. In 1945, the College began admitting male postgraduate students, and in 1965, male undergraduates. In 1985, Royal Holloway College merged with Bedford College (another formerly all-women's college in London which was founded in 1849 and, like Royal Holloway College, joined the University of London in 1900 and became fully co-educational in 1965). The merged college was named Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC), this remaining the official registered name of the College by Act of Parliament. The campus is dominated by the Founder's Building, a Grade I listed red-brick building which is modelled on the Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley in France.

The School of Management at RHUL is a dynamic department bringing together talented students with academic staff who are working at the frontiers of their subjects. It aims to enrich lives and careers through research and teaching - providing an intellectually challenging and relevant education for students intending to pursue managerial, business and professional careers. The School of Management applies the insights of social science to the management of private, public and voluntary sector organisations. A shared feature of its research is the well-established international and comparative focus, with a strong historical, sociological and political-economic approach to management issues and activities. Research in the Management School is organised into several areas with an established international reputation. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 95% of research in the School of Management was judged to be of an international standard, placing it 19th (out of 90) in the overall Business and Management rankings, and 5th out of 15 London-based universities.

Royal Holloway as a whole was ranked 88th in the world, and 13th in the UK, in the Times Higher Eduation World University Rankings 2010-11.

Associazione Bruno Trentin-Isf-IRES

Associazione Bruno Trentin-Isf-IRES (ABT)  - Italy

The Associazione was set up in Rome on 3 June 2013 following the unification of Associazione Bruno Trentin and Ires in ISF. The three structures had been set up by CGIL (the Italian largest trade unions confederation) with the aim of carrying out trade union, social, economic and institutional research besides fostering studies in the fields of political sciences, trade union-related education and the dynamics and processes inherent to vocational formation and the labour market. The unification would contribute to boosting the authority and prestige of the research centre besides achieving significant synergies both at home and at international level. Associazione is a non-profit association specialized in economic and social researches concerning labor issues. It is divided into various research areas with different tasks and objectives (Industrial Relations; Labor market; Welfare and citizenship rights; Economic and local development Environment and sustainable development; Immigration).

IRES, which is now part of the new Associazione, has a long experience in European projects, either as partner and promoter. In 2005 and 2007 two projects (VP/03) were promoted and co-ordinated by IRES: "GLO.R.I." and GLO.R.I. 1". Still in 2007, "Train.Bul.Part." (VP/01). In 2011-12 "EUROACTA (VP/01).

In 2008 and 2010 IRES was partner in the Progress Network "IRENE" and "Irene + FT", coordinated by ASTREES, in the field of restructuring and industrial relations. In 2010 a first time, and in 2011-12 a second time, IRES was partner in the VP/03 project "INFORMIA", co-ordinated by the Bulgarian ISTUR/CITUB. At the end of it, in 2010, a book on information and consultation rights, was published: S. Leonardi (eds.), La partecipazione dei lavoratori nell'impresa. Informazione e consultazione dopo il d.lgs. 25/2007, IRES/Ediesse, Rome. In the very last year, still at the European level, IRES was and is still (as Associazione) partner in the EMF-Syndex project "Know-how transferring (TSF) in the European metalworking industries (2012), and "Making Industrial Relations work for a Decent Work", coordinated by SOLIDAR (VP/01, 2011-2012). It's involved in the ongoing European projects: RENEWALS (ASTREES), TRADE (VP/01 - UPTA); MESMER (VP/01 - ETUC/Diesis), ACCESSOR (INCA-UK), PRO-WELFARE (VP/01 - ETUC/ESO).

IRES, and now the Associazione, is member of the Trade Unions Related Institutes (TURI), linked to the ETUI-ETUC. It's correspondent of Eurofound for Italy. 


Cyprus Workers Confederation

Brief History

The Cyprus Workers Confederation-SEK, established in 1944, is one of the most important social partners in Cyprus within the framework of tripartite cooperation.
SEK represents through its affiliated unions, workers in all sectors of the country's economic activity. The mass of members comes from the private sector, but SEK also represents the majority of workers in semi-governmental utilities and services and local authorities, as well as blue-collar public employees.

The main aims of SEK are to protect and safeguard the workers' rights and interests through collective bargaining and to influence the appropriate bodies in forming labour and economic policies through social dialogue on national, sectoral and company level.
Moreover, SEK plays a leading role in facing and tackling the new challenges arising from the continuous introduction of new technology, globalisation and harmonization as a result of the accession of Cyprus to the European Union.

The fighting spirit of SEK and the responsible policies adopted, resulted in gaining the required respect both by the workers themselves, as well as by all the other social actors. It would not be an exaggeration to highlight the fact that the achievement of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 and the small economic miracle achieved following the Turkish invasion and occupation of 38% of the island in 1974, bare the unfolding stamp of SEK.
Currently SEK is a well structured, equipped and well functioning trade union organization, promoting and protecting the rights and interests of the workers in a successful and effective way, being free and independent from any political influences and democratic in its way of functioning and decision taking policy.


SEK is the guiding body, policy maker and coordinator of the free trade unions of Cyprus, in regard to terms of employment, conditions of work, wages and salaries etc.
SEK has seven affiliated Trade Federations (Industrial Employees Federation, Construction Workers, Miners and Allied Trades Federation, Government, Military and Public Services Employees Federation, Transport, Petroleum and Agricultural Employees Federation, Private Employees Federation, Semi Governmental Employees Federation, Hotel and Catering Employees Federation), five labour centers (consisting of the local unions of each Federation in the district) and a number of specialized departments in supporting its activities and promoting its aims.

The highest decision and policy making body of SEK is the Pancyprian Congress held once every four years. Second in line is the General Council, the Executive Committee and lastly the Secretariat. The General Secretary of SEK is elected directly by the Congress delegates, the Federation General Secretaries are elected by each Federation's Congress, the District Secretaries by the Congress of each Labour Center and the same electoral procedure is followed for the election of the Secretaries and the Committees of local unions.

A constant and unchanged aim of the Cyprus Workers' Cofederation- SEK, is the continuous improvement of the workers' standard of living. Following a responsible and independent policy, away from any political or other obligations and aims, SEK since its establishment in 1944 is struggling for Freedom, Justice, Equality and Social Advancement.


SEK is a founder member of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), currently renamed to ITUC (following a merge with WCL) and an affiliated member to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) since 1981.
The active participation of SEK in these international/ European structures, provide the opportunity to promote the interests of all workers employed in Cyprus in a more direct, positive and effective way.