Explaining the history of European social dialogue, the social partner agreements and their implementation

The European Trade Union Institute has published a working paper analysing how the European Commission has been dealing with the implementation of social partner agreements over time.  The paper is very relevant to the understanding of the context of the case of EPSU and Goudriaan vs the European Commission Case T-310/18 now before the European General Court. The public hearing in the case took place 23 May 2019 Luxembourg.

This working paper has been written by a researcher with extensive and practical knowledge of the European social dialogue having worked in the European Commission in this area for years. The paper underlines how the Commission has been single-handedly reinterpreting the Treaty. It gives new meaning to the social dialogue articles 152-155 of the TFEU (Treaty on the European Union) The European Commission deviates from the original agreement between the social partners in 1991 on which these articles now in the Treaty are based. This creates problems for the social partners minimising their role in the European Union and European integration. It has led EPSU to take the European Commission to the General Court following the rejection of its social partner agreement on information and consultation rights for central government workers by the European Commission in March 2018.

The paper traces back the origin of the Social Policy Agreement of 1991, the various Commission Communications on Social Dialogue and including the first one in 1993 up until the problems existing with the EPSU agreement.

- The paper is written by Jean-Paul Tricart an ex-Commission official. 

- For more information on the social partner agreement brutally rejected  

- For another interesting article on the implementation of social partner agreements published recently in the Industrial Law Journal. This paper examines the various legal arguments why the articles on social dialogue in the Treaty (152-155) are so special.

- For information on the public hearing   

- For the position of the ETUC Congress 2019 in support and calling action Commission not acceptable and the text of the resolution.

- For information on the case of EPSU and Goudriaan vs the European Commission Case T-310/18  

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