This month the ETUI presented its strategic priorities for the coming work programme, which will begin in April 2023, to our General Assembly. The year to come is a very special one for us as it is the year of the 15th ETUC Congress and its 50th anniversary as an organisation, but also a year in which the ETUI will move to another location and I will pass on my responsibilities to a new General Director for the Institute.

In this upcoming period of internal transitions, the ETUI nevertheless needs to keep its focus, as the outside world is not standing still and various crises are converging to create a looming ‘polycrisis’. In this context, we seek to ensure that our activities remain as relevant as ever, reassessing our priorities in order to respond to emerging and pressing issues.

In line with the main concerns of the ETUC, the ETUI is now considering the cost-of-living crisis, the empowering of trade unions, and the EU’s open strategic autonomy agenda as our new reference points around which we will develop our work on our five traditional priorities: the dual socio-ecological and digital transition, the new economic model, a renewed social contract, democracy at all levels, and trade union renewal. The trade union renewal theme will be further strengthened by a new priority: capacity-building and learning developments. This programme offered by the ETUI Education Department will provide the relevant skills and competencies to ensure continuous personal and organisational development.

We are also setting up new transversal working groups on collective bargaining and wages, as well as strengthening our links with our relevant stakeholders and partners such as the European trade union federations, the Hans Böckler Foundation and the European Climate Foundation, among others.

With this internal priority-setting and adjustment we also aim to improve our output in terms of qualitative and timely publications, newsletters, events and courses, all geared towards our participation in the broad debates linked to the polycrisis.

This exercise of review and orientation comes on the back of a very successful period during which the Institute has succeeded in consolidating its reputation as a centre of excellence in the development of cutting-edge research and the provision of ground-breaking and transformative education and training programmes, to the benefit of trade unions and the world of work. In this year of transitions, the ETUI is ideally placed to continue pursuing its mission of supporting, reinforcing, and stimulating the European trade union movement.

Finishing on this positive note in these testing times for the international trade unionism, I would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season. We will be back in January 2023!