Strengthening social dialogue in the European Union

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15 March 2023
On 15 March 2023, Ceemet released its position paper on the proposal for a Council Recommendation on strengthening social dialogue in the European Union.

Ceemet welcomes the Commission proposal released on 25 January 2023, as it proposes for the first time a series of concrete measures on how Member States can, after consultation and in close cooperation with social partners, further strengthen social dialogue and collective bargaining at national level. We also share the Commission´s  analysis of the challenges that social dialogue and collective bargaining systems face today, amongst which the fast transformation of the world of work and the decline of the number of workers covered by collective bargaining in some Member States.

Against this background, Ceemet would like to highlight that:

  • sectoral social partners are closer to the needs of workers and employers and are thus best placed to deal with emerging challenges, such as the ongoing digitalisation of the world of work.
  • countries with a strong social partnership and a higher prevalence of collective bargaining tend to have more resilient labour markets with lower numbers of low paid workers and lower levels of unemployment
  • a well-functioning social dialogue contributes to competitiveness and quality jobs.

As a matter of fact, collective agreements continue to be an important tool to deal with the rapid transformation of the world of work.

However, despite the fact that Ceemet welcomes in general the recommendation and in particular its aims, we are of the opinion that some of the recommendations give a prominent emphasis to public intervention with a top-down approach and are thus too far reaching. Against this background, Ceemet puts forward, in the attached position paper, a series of remarks and forward-looking solutions on some of the Council key Recommendations.