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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Transnational week, "the future of work, the work of the future"
Transnational week, "the future of work, the work of the future"Keywords Flexibility, Co-operation, Training
No fewer than 30 events on the theme, "The future of work, the work of the future" took place in 12 member states during the week of 6-10 March 2000, marking the culmination of a two-year process to capitalise on and analyse the results of ADAPT projects by a European working group co-ordinated by France and Italy. All the parties involved in the programme, from promoters to institutions, described their experience in the field since 1995. These regional and national events took very different forms throughout Europe, but were all based around three key themes: flexibility; co-operation; and training.
The events addressed the subject of new forms of work organisation and the information society from the point of view of each organising area or country. In each case, the presence of "European messengers", who described the experiences and approaches of other member states, brought vital European clarification and demonstrated the unity of thinking and of the issues amidst the diversity of experiences.
The central event, held at the Cité des Métiers in Paris, was attended by 400 participants. The debates, led by journalists, were interspersed by videoconference exchanges between Paris and three other European sites working simultaneously on the same themes: Rome (flexibility and training), Lisbon (new forms of work organisation, training and co-operation) and Brussels (call centres).
Thanks to the presence at all events of political decision makers, leading European figures and senior representatives of trade-union and employers' organisations, the week made a real contribution to the process of incorporating results into policy and practice (mainstreaming). Michel Rocard, Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Social Affairs and Employment, confirmed Parliament's interest in the themes discussed and expressed full support for the week's activities. The French Ministry of Employment said it would like to invite a number of the European experts present to a symposium to be held in October under the French Presidency. Finally, the personal participation in the Lisbon event of Maria De Belém, Minister for Equal Opportunities, testified to the interest of Portugal, which currently holds the Presidency, and sent out positive signals at the dawn of the launching of EQUAL.
Extensive media coverage in the 15 member states, together with a Web site dedicated to the Transnational Week, have helped boost awareness among European citizens. The Cité des Métiers also housed a cybercafe open to the public, where the results ofprojects were demonstrated by experienced presenters, as well as a videotheque offering some 80 audiovisual products developed by project promoters.