Minutes of the General Assembly meeting – 2004/07/12


The General Assembly of the Friuli Venezia Giulia/Veneto/Croatian Istria Interregional Trade Union Council met on 12th July in Trieste, at the headquarters of via Polonio 5.

Attending members: Luca Visentini (UIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Michele Berti (UIL Friuli Venezia Giulia, substitute of Tatjana Tomičić), Silvano Hrelja (SSSH Istria), Luciano Del Rosso (CGIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Renata Bagattin (CGIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Roberto Treu (CGIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Josip Sisović (SSSH Istria), Mario Gregoris (UIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Monica Ukmar (observer, CGIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Slobodan Kapor (observer, SSSH Istria).

Absent on leave: Umberto Brusciano (CISL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Giovanni Della Valle (CISL Veneto), Roberto Michieletti (UIL Veneto), Salvino Bibulić (SSSH Istria), Đino Sverko (SSSH Istria), Lucjiano Persić (SSSH Istria), Delia Trost (SSSH Istria), Ernesto Martincić (SSSH Istria).

Abstent without leave: Luciana Levi Bettin (CGIL Veneto), Giovanni Fania (CISL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Paolo Coppa (CISL Friuli Venezia Giulia).

Agenda of General Assembly Meeting:

  1. Replacement of resigning members of the General Assembly of I.T.U.C. and of the Presidency Office of I.T.U.C.;
  2. Amendments to the Articles of Association;
  3. Notices of the President and planning of 2004 activities;
  4. New I.T.U.C. logo and material with the new I.T.U.C. logo;
  5. Any other business.

Luca Visentini, acting as President of the General Assembly, opened the meeting at 11.35 and suggested to swap item n. 3 and item n. 4. A vote was held and the General Assembly unanimously approved the proposal.

1. Luca Visentini suggested to replace in the General Assembly of I.T.U.C. Silvano Hrelja – elected at the Croatian Parliament in November 2003 – with Slobodan Kapor (who’s attending as observer) and to replace another member of SSSH Istria (who will be specified in the next meeting of the Presidency Office scheduled in September) with Jadranka Tomašić. Similarly, he suggested to replace Silvano Hrelja as member of the Presidency Office of I.T.U.C. with a representative of SSSH Istria (Jadranka Tomašić or Slobodan Kapor again), whose name will be specified in the next meeting of the Presidency Office of I.T.U.C., to be appointed as Vice-President instead of Silvano Hrelja. Silvano Hrelja informed the General Assembly that – as he was elected to the Croatian Parliament – he momentarily gave up all his positions in the SSSH Istria, but he did not resign. Silvano Hrelja added that SSSH was implementing a thorough internal restructuring which may also concern its geographic areas: one single area for Istria, Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Lika-Senj counties could be created. Luca Visentini replied that, if this project was implemented, the Articles of Association of I.T.U.C. would have to be amended accordingly at the next meeting of the General Assembly of I.T.U.C., adding the geographic referenced of the Croatian counties passed under the jurisdiction of SSSH Istria. Finally, he thanked Silvano Hrelja for his work for I.T.U.C. over the years, whishing him the best for his current mandate as member of Croatian Parliament. Luca Visentni opened the vote on the two proposals. The General Assembly unanimously approved the two proposals.

2. Luca Visentini suggested an amendment to the official name of I.T.U.C. in the Articles of Association. Currently, the official name is “Interregional Trade Union Council 3 Friuli Venezia Giulia/Veneto/Croatian Istria” and it should become “Interregional Trade Union Council Friuli Venezia Giulia/Veneto/Croatian Istria CGIL, CISL, UIL, SSSH”. This amendment was necessary, as the reference to “3” was not straightforward and it might even be misleading; moreover, the names of member trade unions were not included. No objection was raised, therefore Luca Visentini opened the vote. The General Assembly unanimously approved the proposal.

4. Luca Visentini said that in 2003 I.T.U.C. reshaped its image, therefore a new logo and new material with this logo were produced. Michele Berti explained that a graphic firm was appointed, a range of drafts were presented and one was finally selected. Headed notepaper, envelops, cards, 1 banner, 5 flags and stick-on labels for conference folders had been supplied. The material was available to members who were invited to take all the material they needed. Members were invited to use the material with the new logo as soon as possible.

3. Luca Visentini announced that in 2004 I.T.U.C. intended to focus on the most topical issue, i.e. the application for EU membership of Croatia, which on 18th June was granted the status of candidate country. I.T.U.C. wanted to have an insight into the membership process (which might as well end with the actual membership in 2007) and debate issues which were of interest for trade unions among the 29 chapters the European Commission identified in the opinion released on 20th April. Eight chapters have been selected as the focus of I.T.U.C. main activity in 2004. This activity will be pursued through:

  1. an insight study/research;
  2. a mission to Croatia in the most critical areas, in the light of the selected chapters;
  3. an international conference on the presentation of findings of the insight study/research, debating the Croatian membership process with representatives of the trade unions, the government at Italian and Croatian regional level and with representatives of the European Commission office in Milan.

Moreover, Luca Visentini reminded the General Assembly that the actual intention of the Autonomous Region Friuli Venezia Giulia and the Istria County will have to be monitored concerning the implementation of the working agreement included in the cooperation protocol on frontier work and seconded workers signed in Trieste by Riccardo Illy and Ivan Jakovcić on 4th December 2003.
Silvano Hrelja wondered whether EU funds for enlargement could be used for this project. Luca Visentini replied that the Representation Office of the European Commission in Milan informed I.T.U.C. about this opportunity, as Croatia now was the candidate status, but no information were yet available on application procedures. At any rate, the Head of the Office, Roberto Santaniello, would notify I.T.U.C. as soon as the application procedure would be opened. Luca Visentini reminded the General Assembly that the draft version of the abovementioned insight study/research will be submitted to the Presidency Office of I.T.U.C. in the next September meeting and he gave the floor to Michele Berti. He pointed out that the opinion of the European Commission of the 20th April – in particular the selected chapters – will be the main basis of I.T.U.C. work. A highly qualified Croatian researcher was contacted for the study: he has a thorough knowledge on human rights and workers’ rights and on NGO’s and I.T.U.C. would like to assign him the assignment. He added that contacts had been established with the Croatian Community in Trieste for the abovementioned mission to Croatia and that the Representation Office of the European Commission in Milan supported the whole project and accepted the invitation to the conference. The Representation Office of the European Commission in Milan expressed appreciation for the project, as a support to the EU membership process of Croatia and as an action aimed at raising public awareness in Friuli Venezia Giulia and in Veneto on a major event which was bound to significantly change the life of people in the border areas. The project was also aimed at monitoring the Croatian government action with the option to express the legitimate right of criticism and put forward solutions to problems. Monica Ukmar asked what criteria had been applied to the survey, considering that areas are extensive and they require skills and diplomacy. Michele Berti said that a selection had been made to define the survey topics and the selected researcher had the necessary skills, as he lives in Italy and is a Croatian citizen, therefore he has a thorough knowledge of the social, political and economic situation in Croatia and he’s sensitive to the need for diplomacy.
Luca Visentini opened the vote on the 2004 planning, as outlined. The General Assembly unanimously approved the proposal.
Luca Visentini proposed to put off the debate on the Agreement between the Friuli Venezia-Giulia sections of CGIL-CISL-UIL on the rotating of Presidencies and Vice-Presidencies of the three Interregional Trade Union Councils of Friuli Venezia Giulia with Karten, Slovenia, Veneto and Croatian Istria, signed on 29th January 2004 between the General Secretaries of the Friuli Venezia-Giulia sections of CGIL-CISL-UIL, considering the fact that no representatives from CISL Friuli Venezia Giulia were present, suggesting to face this issue in a future occasion. No objections were raised on this point by any General Assembly members.

5. No requests to take the floor were made on this last item of the agenda.

The General Assembly was closed at 12.15.

The minute-taker
Michele Berti