About EARN‎ > ‎

The foundation phase of EARN


The first ideas for the formation of a Anti-Racism Network were developed amongst black trade unionists during a TIE-conference in Cologne/Germany in March 2000. 

The initiative was further discussed during the TUC Black Workers’ Conference in England in April 2000. There trade unionists of different unions from Europe discussed the importance of such a network.

Paris October 2000

After some interim contacts between the different initiators at a meeting in Paris it was decided to prepare a European Anti-Racism Network conference. During this preparatory meeting (in October 2000) the goals and the content of the conference were agreed on. The problem was the funding of the whole. All participants lobbied within their own trade unions for a financial contribution to the conference; all of them without any success. Not only is the subject of anti-racism not very popular, but also trade unions are cautious if it comes to initiatives of trade unionists.

Amsterdam January 2001

During a second preparatory meeting in January 2001 in Amsterdam the agenda as well as the search for financial support for the conference were further discussed. In order to organise communication in an efficient manner it was decided to install per country one reference group (of black trade unionists) and that these reference groups stay in contact with each other.   

EARN and Black Workers for Justice - Europe

EARN is the reference group in the Netherlands. The reference group in England is Black Workers for Justice - Europe (BWJ-e) where members of the TUC Race Relations Committee (the representative body for black members within the TUC) are actively involved. Among other things the BWJ-e releases information and offers support to black employees across Europe. They also started to assist trade unions in cases of race discrimination at the work place. 

November 2002, European Anti-Racism Network Conference in Egmond / The Netherlands


Finally  the financing for the conference was realized and the European Anti-Racism Network Conference took place on November 1 - 3, 2002. During the conference (among other things) it has been discussed how to further extend the European Anti-Racism Network.