CEMR/EPSU joint response to the Consultation of the European social partners on sectoral social dialogue

(19 January 2009) EPSU and CEMR agreed in December 2008 a joint response to a questionnaire from the European Commission on the sectoral social dialogue. Responses to the questionnaire will feed into a Communication on this subject expected in the next months. Key points of our response include:

- CEMR and EPSU appreciate the support the European Commission, and in particular of DG Employment and Social Affairs, provided to the process of the European social dialogue. However, continuous support is also needed to further develop a well functioning social dialogue at national level in all countries. We value the autonomy of the social partners.

- The European Commission should not put limits to this autonomy, such as narrowly determining the scope of the sector, the participating organisations, the organisation of work, etc. The social dialogue concept allows for flexible solutions, adapted to the needs of the social partners and the specific sector.

- We point out the specific nature of our sectoral social dialogue committee. We are not only representatives from the employers and employees, but also form a part of the political structure and division of public responsibilities between national and local level in the Member States. This constitutes important premises and challenges for our sectoral social dialogue committee.

- The European Commission should improve the mainstreaming of the sectoral social dialogue in its work across all Directorate Generals (DGs). All DGs should inform and consult the European social partners on relevant sectoral developments or on policies of particular importance for the sectors concerned.

Read the joint response:

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