Because of the lack of a profound analysis, it is not surprising that the conclusions of the 'Willy Thys paper' brought nothing new. Of course, there must be an efficient service to the members, more coordination of activities, a program of activities related to multinational corporations, activities in the areas of health and safety, rationalization of the institutional operations and much more. But quite apart from the fact that the ITF's were already doing this already for a long time, it is not enough to win new members. Why should one become a member of the WCL if one could get the same and even more with the ICFTU and its International Trade Federations?
To stand out in a credible way, the WCL should dare to present their own vision about man and society, about employer and worker, about the union and private enterprise, about government and state, about capital and labor, about family and so on. Though the WCL had traditionally its own christian and humanist inspired vision, this was not used actively anymore. Of course, that vision had to be adapted on the consequences of the fall of communism and the new developments in the world, but that did not happen at all.
Instead, the WCL choosed for non ideological pragmatism and went on the easy road of rejecting neoliberalism and capitalism as diseases that needed to be be eradicated, saying that the growing globalisation of production and marketing was only bad news for the workers like also the flexibilization of labor and so on. Trade unionism meant more and more protest in stead of also looking for creative answers on the new challenges after the fall of communism and the growing industrial globalisation. The WCL was losing his own voice in the international concert of trade union voices. It became part of the big international choir of international trade unionism, without having an own voice.
At the same time the WCL was restructured on the level of the international secretariat under the guidance of the Secretary General himself. Central and Eastern Europe were not anymore a priority. The Coordination Committee for Central and Eastern Europe and the coordination secretariat for Central and Eastern Europe, established in Bucharest with the help of Cartel alfa, were dismantled. The special budget developed for activities and missions in Central and Eastern Europe was stopped and so there came an end to the special financial support for the new members in central and eastern Europa. This was very painful, because everybody knew that the development of a "new" trade unionism in that part of Europe was for long term, as part of the development into a democratic society and state. What happens today in the Ukraine and the Russian actions on the Krim and in Eastern Ukraine are a demonstration of this.
In spite of the 'Willy Thys' paper on International Trade Action Federations nothing new happened for international trade action. On the contrary, the Secretary General wanted even that the ITF's paid extra for services of the WCL secretariat besides the contribution they already were paying to the WCL. The small amount of money the ITF's received yearly from the ILO for special activities was not used anymore for their activities but went onto the general WCL budget. Manpower to support the ITF's was not extended but in stead more limited. All this together gave fuel to the animosity of the presidents of the ITF's towards the Secretary General.
Another debate should have been about how a minority organization like the WCL should operate on international level especially within the ILO. One of the possibilities to let hear more loudly the message of the WCL and its ITF's at the ILO was to look for a lobbyist with a lot of trade union and (international) political experience while also speaking fluently different languages and convinced to present the vision and ideas of the WCL on all levels. The opportunity was there because of a change of personnel, but in stead, two young trade unionists were put in the ILO office of the WCL. Therefore, the ICFTU got all the space to do what they wanted in the ILO.
On the other side, the highest priority - financially and in manpower - was given to the renewal of the press office. The Secretary General wanted more attention in the international press for the WCL. This is of course very difficult because why should journalists be interested in the WCL that as an international organization cannot organize strikes or other protests to influence decisions on world level? Moreover, for international trade union organizations there are other ways to influence decisions on international level like for instance the ILO and other UN agencies, like the European Union and its institutions and so on. And another question, is it necessary for the WCL members to read about the WCL in the international press ? What is important for them is to be informed about what is going on in the international field of labor, to get the latest information and if necessary to get access to international institutions.