25 January 2023

Strengthening social dialogue in the European Union

On 25 January 2023, the European Commission released its long- awaited Communication on Strengthening social dialogue in the European Union: harnessing its full potential for managing fair transitions and Council Recommendation on Strengthening social dialogue in the European Union.

With these initiatives, the Commission intends to further strengthen and promote social dialogue with concrete actions at national and EU level. Indeed, the Commission aims at empowering social dialogue to adapt to the changing world of work and new trends in the labor market against the backdrop of the green and digital transitions.

The discussions on the review of sector social at EU level started back in July 2020 with the appointment of Andrea Nahles, as special advisor to Commissioner Schmit on social dialogue. Since then, Ceemet has actively taken part, at all levels, in the discussions on how to best ensure a well-functioning sectoral social dialogue at EU level. Between September 2020 and March 2021, Ceemet met Ms. Andrea Nahles on several occasions and had the opportunity to share with her its views on how to improve European sectoral social dialogue.

In July 2021, Ceemet contributed to the Commission consultation of EU sectoral social partners (see here) and has, since then, actively participated in all targeted hearings organised by the Commission in 2022. Ceemet has persisently called the Commission to better reflect employers’ contributions in (EU) social policy making, to consult and involve social partners in all policies with an employment dimension as well as to allocate the necessary resources to Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees. The tech and industry employers also consider that the Commission should continue to boost support for capacity building of social partners as well as to improve its website in order to better market and disseminate social dialogue outcomes.

Therefore, Ceemet welcomes the Commission intention to assign a Social dialogue coordinator in each Commission Service, as a way to improve the understanding of social dialogue accross all the Commission DGs.

With regard to the announced revision of 1998 Decision on Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees, Ceemet stands ready to continue discussing with the European Commission in order to ensure, for the future, an effective sectoral social dialogue, full financial sutainaility of those sectoral committees and the autonomy of social partners.