Karen Van Eetvelt, the head of the Flemish Employer’s organisation Unizo, will vacate the position in October after 13 years in office. He will then take the top job at Febelfin, the Belgian Federation for the Financial Sector. He spoke to De Tijd and De Standaard about his time at Unizo on Saturday. “Too many members of the Group of Ten are concentrating on what has already been achieved”, he said. “There is no attempt to find the best solution, just emphasis on how to preserve the current 50 year old system with a few adjustments”.
Mr Van Eetvelt says he has become disillusioned with social dialogue. He says the Group of Ten can’t really advance with anything as the sectors are so diverse, and also because of the problems the social partners face.
The Unizo boss says syndicates claiming politicians don’t listen to social dialogue makes no sense. “We had chances but didn’t take them. Those that blame politicians need to examine their own consciences”.
Things in the world of politics are not going how Mr Van Eettvelt would like either. “There is a focus on the short term. Look at the current discussion on pensions, for example. The measures brought in are always small, and they have to save money for the budget above all else. But no-one has come up with a solid plan we can follow for the next 10 to 20 years”.
The head of the Flemish Employer’s organisation has called on the political class to band together. “I have noticed that most parties just prefer to oppose anything. This means that we just go from one argument to another, both within the government and between the government and the opposition”.