The technical objective of "int.unity" will be realised through the establishment of a virtual network between actors from the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the Union Network International Europa (UNI Europa) and the Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft (ver.di). To this end, the following steps will be taken:

1. With the BSCW system (Basic Support for Cooperative Work) to implement, test, and optimise an Internet-based technical platform, which makes it possible for the project teams of the participating organisations to communicate and cooperate from various European locations and using heterogeneous hardware and software environments and across the borders of countries and organisations in a simple, user-friendly and safe way. Use will be made not only of fundamental applications for electronic communications (e-mail, file transfer), but also ambitious variations of asynchronous and synchronous telecommunication and cooperation such as joint filing, administration and handling of information (documents and data). With these objectives as the "int.unity" sees itself as a stage in the course towards forming virtual communities of geographically distributed trade union players, teams and institutions.

2. To implement, test, evaluate from the perspective of trade union users and optimise a Language Technology that is adequate for the target group, which makes it possible for the participating organisations to communicate and work within the framework of the project in their own native languages, i.e. to create messages, information and documents in their own respective language, which are then automatically translated in the other respective language - with the assistance of a "human evaluator" - in such a way that they are as error-free as possible and easily comprehended. Among other activities the German/English dictionaries will be successively expanded by the specialised trade union terminology - with emphasis laid on the context of the terms relevant to the "Internet Economy" -, mutual standards will be worked out for writing the source texts and the user-friendliness of the translation software will be improved.

3. To link the two technological lines of development with one another and to integrate the Language Technology in the Internet platform. This would expand BSCW by an important component and eliminate a decisive bottleneck - the mutual language problems - in the (electronic) cooperation of the "int.unity" players.

From a technical perspective the outcome of "int.unity" hence aims at the development of an innovative tool for geographically distributed multilingual telecooperation of trade union organisations and other transnationally operating institutions of the social partners.

The content objective of the project will be achieved through the cooperation of virtual teams from the participating trade union organisations, which will transfer experience, communicate "best practices" and draw up joint analyses and action recommendations on the following three important thematic fields of union work:

Trade unions and the Internet - options for the establishment of the "e-union"
Trade unions and the "new economy" - opportunities and problems in interest representation
Trade unions and European works councils - concepts for supporting the work of transnational interest representatives

ver.di, CWU and UNI Europa have each started their own projects, created working connections and gained experience in these three subject areas, which are not only of great interest for union work in a national context, but also in an international context. The three participating unions have, however, to date not yet or only sporadically cooperated transnationally. The project partners believe that far-reaching synergetic benefits could be gained through a cross-border transfer of concepts, expertise, project experiences and best practices, through examining the transferability of existing know-how to the situations in other member states and through agreeing to joint analyses and perspectives for action.

ver.di, CWU and UNI Europa anticipate that this continual transnational communication and cooperation will bring them important findings and impetus for their own work as well as for other actors in the framework of the European social dialogue.