CSAIO - Exchanges and Sharing of Ideas for Staff Associations of International Organisations and European Agencies


Each year, in autumn, the CSAIO (Conference of Staff Associations of International Organizations) conference is usually held for two days; this conference is reserved for Staff Associations of International Organisations, mainly based in Europe, and for European Agencies.

This year, due to the health situation, the conference was held via teleconference on a single day

Creation, aims and developments

CSAIO, created by the CERN and OECD Staff Associations in 2000, enables some thirty staff associations to share their experiences and ideas in order to better understand the expectations and aspirations of staff working in international and European organisations.

Over the past six years, informal follow-up during the first part of the conference to the themes discussed the previous year has become institutionalised. This follow-up makes it possible to share the implementation and impact in the respective organisations or agencies of proposals or measures from both associations and management.

The rest of the time, the conference deals with a series of specific themes, identified by the participants themselves. Presentations, each lasting 15 to 20 minutes, launch the debate, allowing everyone to understand and appropriate the approaches developed in other organisations or agencies.

It appears that the Staff Associations, at CERN or elsewhere, are very often the driving force behind proposals and progress.

All the presentations as well as the legal analyses can be consulted on the CSAIO website, which includes all the interventions since the first conference.

21st edition in November 2020

This year, for the first time, the conference took place on a single day, on 6 November, via Zoom.

During this day, the following two themes were addressed:

Health crisis management

How has the health crisis that has hit the world in a major and sudden way been managed in International Organisations and European Agencies?

The subject was approached from a wide variety of angles, including :

  • The degree of involvement of the staff representative body.
  • The terms and conditions of presence on the premises of personnel and visitors (during containment and after containment).
  • Management of personnel contaminated by COVID-19 and contact cases 
  • Remote personnel management and prevention of psycho-social risks
  • Support measures for personnel (work-life balance, teleworking abroad, IT equipment, etc.). 
  • The organisation of meetings and missions.
  • Sanitary protocol for access to the premises.

The aspects of mental health and work-life balance have been the subject of much debate.

Consequences of the epidemic on our Organisations

It is generally recognised that in terms of work organisation, among other things, there will be a before and after COVID. What kind of work environment after this pandemic?

The reflections of various organisations on this vast subject were shared by addressing more specifically :

  • What organisation of work after this pandemic? What about telework? What about flexible working hours? 
  • Which working spaces? 
  • How will meetings and missions be organised, what lessons will be learned from the pandemic period? 
  • How will disputes related to the epidemic be handled, such as the violation of the obligation of security, the refusal of recognition as an occupational disease, etc.? 
  • What is the budgetary situation in our Organisations in the coming years? 

Review of the debates of the previous edition (CSAIO 20th) - Jurisprudence

This 21st edition provided an opportunity to return to the themes discussed in the previous session, namely: internal justice systems, diversity and consultation processes with staff representative bodies. 

22nd edition in 2021 at CERN

The Scientific Committee and the organisers were delighted by the large participation of our colleagues representing staff from various International Organisations and European agencies, despite the fact that the context and organisation of the conference was very different from what was usually known.

Indeed, more than 34 organisations were present with the participation of the President of FICSA and the UN agencies bringing a global geographical approach.

The meeting of the different families of organisations is always a moment when one can compare progress or setbacks and take away a lot of information based on the experiences of the different participants. This need is even greater in times of health crisis and economic uncertainty.

In 2021, the conference should be held at CERN (which was the original plan for 2020).

Thank you to the Scientific Committee for organising once again a session rich in information and idea sharing and where participants always have the pleasure to meet each other whether in person or virtually.

See you next year!