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EFCI News – Issue 1 | November 2019



On 16 October 2019, EFCI’s president Juan Díez de los Ríos took part in the the Tripartite Social Summit, the bi-annual forum for dialogue between the EU institutions and the European social partners at the highest level. This was EFCI’s first participation to the Summit, and EFCI’s President stressed the need to have a services-oriented policy mindset and to ensure wide access to basic digital and green skills.

The Tripartite Social Summit was co-chaired by Donald Tusk (President of the European Council) and Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission). The Finnish Prime Minister Antti Juhani Rinne, the Commission’s Vice President for Euro and Social Dialogue (Valdis Dombrovskis) and the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility (Marianne Thyssen) were also present.

The employers’ delegation was composed of the President of BusinessEurope Pierre Gattaz, President of SMEunited Urlike Rabmer-Koller, and representatives of the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises (CEEP), accompanied by the employer’s associations from Finland, Croatia and Germany and the EFCI as sectoral association.

The Summit agenda included the following topics: (i) a just transition to a climate neutral economy; (ii) investing in skills and improving access to adult training and (iii) designing an industrial policy fit for the future.

The EFCI was represented by its President, Juan Díez de los Ríos, who delivered an address in which he highlighted the need to have a services-oriented policy mindset and the need to ensure wide access to basic digital and “green” skills.

To read EFCI’s President speech at the Tripartite Social Summit, follow this link. You can see more images of the Summit via this link.


On 29 October, the European social partners for Industrial Cleaning (the EFCI and UNI Europa) adopted a Joint Statement on the impact of digitalisation on employment in the sector. They acknowledge that a successfully-lead digitalisation transition may become an opportunity to enhance professionalism and innovation in the industry, to the benefit of all its actors.

The Joint Statement stresses the importance of the digital transition for the sector. This needs a strong engagement from both employers and employees to ensure that it is a smooth and successful transition that leads to increased productivity, higher quality of services, improvements in labour conditions and safety gains. The statement addresses the topics of data collection and use, work-life balance and narrowing the skills gap. Among others, the European Social Partners have jointly stated that:

A successfully-lead digitalisation transition may become an opportunity to enhance professionalism and innovation in the industry, to the benefit of all its actors. At the same time, it needs a strong engagement from both employers and employees to ensure a smooth and successful digital transition for the sector so that it positively results in improvement of labour conditions, acquisition of the necessary skills or productivity, quality and safety gains.”

Social partners call upon the European Commission to support the development of a skills and training agenda for the cleaning industry including the validation and certification of the acquired skills.”

Since 1999, the EFCI and UNI Europa have formally engaged in the Industrial Cleaning Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC), a forum for discussions, negotiations and joint actions involving organisations representing the two sides of industry.

Read the complete joint statement following this link


On 25 and 26 September, EFCI’s President and EFCI’s Secretariat attended the international trade fair CMS Berlin 2019 and participated in the CMS World Summit 2019, which gathered leading representatives from the cleaning and hygiene sector.

EFCI’s President Juan Díez de los Ríos opened the CMS World Summit Conference on 25 September highlighting the importance of associations and federations to be stronger and share innovative ideas to face the challenges ahead. Juan Díez de los Ríos also identified the digital and climate transition, in client-mindset based on price, as the major challenges ahead for the industry, and underlined EFCI’s commitment to work with and for the industry to overcome them.

Isabel Yglesias, EFCI’s Director, intervened in the panel “Circular economy – Strategies in the cleaning industry with Susanne Zänker (Director of A.I.S.E) and Peter Hug (Director of EUnited). She underlined that circular economy is the great opportunity for the sector in terms of putting even more the accent on quality and hence, enhancing the competitiveness and image of the industry. She also put forward EFCI’s political priorities, of which “supporting services to fully integrate into the circular economy.”

Consult the tweets of the CMS World Summit Conference (#CMSWS19) for more information.


EFCI’s Trend Report was presented during EFCI’s 2019 Conference in June 2019 in Brussels. This statistical report builds on historical EFCI’s surveys and gathers Eurostat’s most recent data (EU28, Norway and Switzerland). It analyses the successful evolution of the cleaning industry between 1995 and 2016 from different angles.

The Trend Report was welcomed with great interest by the participants to the Conference and appreciated by industry players, academia and other stakeholders as it is the only pan-European analysis offering research-based and factual information about the European cleaning industry.

The Trend Report shows how, despite suffering from a so-called “invisibility”, the cleaning sector is indisputably relevant in today’s society, not only for the essential services it provides but also as regard of the great impact it has in terms of employment.

The report presents the main characteristics of the sector while showing its impressive progression throughout the last twenty years. It therefore becomes a tool for the industry and its stakeholders for analysis, decision-making and a unique instrument to learn about and promote the sector. The report is also a solid basis to work on the challenges ahead and work with EFCI’s stakeholders and EU institutions, as it shows the strength and relevance of our sector in terms of contribution to Europe’s GDP and employment rates.

The Trend Report was commissioned coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Federation in November 2018. It was developed by the EFCI with the help of hkp///RemuNet and puts together the great deal of work the EFCI has conducted over the last years.  Indeed, the report builds on the historical EFCI Surveys: since 1987, the EFCI had published once every two years the “EFCI Survey” on the state of the European cleaning industry, providing an in-depth analysis of the sector (market development, employment, country comparisons, etc.). It is still possible to request the past EFCI Survey(s) via this link.

You can consult the Trend Report following this link.


On 18 September 2019, the Director of the EFCI, Isabel Yglesias, introduced the cleaning “Selecting Best Value” Guide  during the presentation of the newly published guide of the European Social Partners of the contract catering (FoodServiceEurope and EFFAT). Representatives from the catering and security sectors and from UNI Europa exchanged on their experiences regarding the drafting and dissemination of the respective guides.

FoodServiceEurope and EFFAT presented their Guide “Choosing Best Value in contracting food services”. As the security (CoESS) and the cleaning (EFCI) sectors, the catering guide aims to support both private and public organisations in the procurement of food services based on quality as much as price. It was developed in the framework of the European Social Dialogue and with the support of the European Commission.

EFCI’s Director Isabel Yglesias was invited to intervene in the event by providing a presentation on the “Selecting Best Value” Guide for cleaning, in order to present the common points with the catering sector’s guide and EFCI’s experience in the implementation and dissemination of the Guide. Interventions during the event tackled similar topics to those that affect the cleaning and facility sector: the focus on price, the relation with the final client or the need for professionalisation of the procurers.  The EFCI, CoESS (security) and a representative from UNI Europa exchanged on their experiences in the drafting and dissemination of the respective Guides. The EFCI is also working with the EBSA (European Business Services Alliance) regarding the procurement and the promotion of the different guides.

The cleaning “Selecting Best Value” guide was developed conjointly by the EFCI and UNI Europa in 2016. It aims at raising awareness about the consequences of selecting lowest bids and covers all aspects of cleaning services tender procedures to help buyers choosing quality. You can consult the guide following this link.