1 February 2024

Val Duchesse Summit on Social Dialogue

On 31st January 2024, Ceemet participated in the the Val Duchesse Summit as part of the employers´ delegation.

Organised by the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, together with the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo, representing the Belgian Presidency of the Council the Summit brought together the EU social partners as well as the Commission Vice President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritas Schinas and the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit and many other Commission representatives.

The aim of this summit was to give a new push to European social dialogue 39 years after the first Summit organized by Jacques Delors in 1985 in Val Duchesse and which saw the emergence of social dialogue at EU level.

As a matter of fact, social dialogue remains today a fundamental pillar of the European Social model and is a crucial component in dealing with the twin transition. At EU level, social partner dialogue and consultation are enshrined in Articles 154 and 155 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Social dialogue is thus, according to the Treaty, at the core of EU policy making in the field of employment and skills policies.

At national level, recognised sectoral social partners play a critical role in shaping the world of work in the framework of collective bargaining.

Against this background all the speakers insisted on the important role that social partners have played in the past years, in informing and developing employment related policy initiatives and more generally all policies that have an impact on labour markets.

Both the President of the Commission and the President of the EU Council referred specifically to the critical role that social partners have together with governments in tackling labour and skills shortages.

The Summit concluded with the signature of a “Tripartite Declaration for a Thriving European Social Dialogue” under which the signatories commit to undertake the following:

Address labour and skills shortages

The Commission in cooperation with the social partners will present an action plan to tackle labour and skills shortages in spring 2024.

Put social dialogue at the heart of our common future

The signatories reiterated their commitment to fully respect and promote the role of social partners and social dialogue.

Establishment of a European Social Dialogue Envoy

The Commission will appoint a dedicated European Social Dialogue envoy who will liaise regularly with the European Social partners in order to promote and strengthen further social dialogue.

Pact for European Social Dialogue

The outcome of this process will be the Pact for European Social Dialogue which should be concluded by early 2025. To this end, a series of bipartite and tripartite meetings will be organised in order to identify new proposals to reinforce social dialogue at EU level.

Ceemet is highly satisfied with the outcomes of the Val Duchesse Summit. As it has been the case for the last few years, Ceemet will continue to actively contribute with its expertise to reinforcing and strengthening social dialogue at EU level. As a matter of fact, the Tech & Industry employers stand ready to work together with the European Social Dialogue Envoy in order to give a more prominent role to social partners in informing the Commission policy initiatives across all DGs.

Furthermore, Ceemet will certainly convey its messages and views regarding an improved sectoral social dialogue and put forward its recommendations on what we consider are the pre-requisites for a well-functioning, efficient, value-adding sectoral social dialogue at EU level.

In this context we also stand ready to work together with the Commission and the other social partners towards the development of the Pact for European social dialogue.

Last but not least, Ceemet is pleased to see that the Commission will present an action plan to tackle labour and skills shortages in spring 2024. We will contribute with our proposals to addressing this unprecedented situation for companies across Europe.