Social Dialogue Committee for Central Government Administrations

The European Social Dialogue Committee for Central Government Administrations (SDC CGA) was established by the European Commission in 2010.

It brings together representatives of trade unions (TUNED), led by EPSU, and employers (EUPAE) from this sector with a view to:

  • improving the functioning of administrations;
  • establishing EU minimum standards on working conditions;
  • promoting social dialogue at national and European levels;
  • influencing EU policy on public administrations.

EUPAE (European Public Administration Employers) represents 19 EU governments including 12  members (Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Slovakia) and 7 observers (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Ireland,  Latvia, Malta, Slovenia).  (The UK was a member until the Brexit).

TUNED (Trade Unions' National and European Administration Delegation) consists of a majority of  EPSU affiliates with complementary representativity of  affiliates from CESI (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg and Slovenia).

Eurofound’s representativeness study (2017) confirmed TUNED and EUPAE as the most representative European organisations in central governments, covering a very large majority of the 9.8 million EU total workforce in central governments (88% including the UK).

Members of EUPAE take decision by consensus and in case of a vote by unanimity, their rotating chair is currently held by the French administration.

TUNED’s decision-making is by consensus. TUNED spokesperson is the chair of the EPSU’s NEA standing committee, currently Marco Ouwehand, FNV, the Netherlands.

The chair of the SDC CGA rotates every year between TUNED and EUPAE, the rules of procedure are available here

The SDC CGA meets three times a year, two working groups and one plenary, in Brussels.

The Commission finances the logistics (meeting venue and interpretation, 3 languages for working groups and 5 for plenaries) as well as expenses for travelling and accommodation of TUNED and EUPAE delegates.

Key outcomes

The Committee has reached two social partner agreements, one in Dec. 2015 on workers’ rights to information and consultation rights, and the other in October 2022 on digitalisation.

Both agreements were negotiated and adopted with a view to becoming legally binding in line with TFEU article 155.2.

The information and consultation rights agreement sought to close a gap in the EU directive on workers’ rights to information and consultation on restructuring, which excludes public administration employees.  However, in March 2018, the Commission rejected the request by TUNED and EUPAE to implement the agreement via a directive for Council adoption. EPSU challenged this unprecedented negative decision in the European Courts, which unfortunately the Commission’s position whereby it can alone decide on the type of implementation of social partner agreements, more information here.

While EUPAE was not a party to the court case, they have maintained their demand for a legislative implementation of the agreement, including  in a joint declaration with TUNED to mark the 10th year anniversary of the SDC CGA in December 2020, see here

In 2020, following a two-year project on digitalisation and work/life balance and the publication of a guide of dos and donts in the matter, the Committee started exploring the feasibility of negotiating an agreement on digitalisation. The negotiation started in January 2021 and was concluded in a year later with the formal signing of the  agreement by TUNED and Belgian and French ministers for public administration on behalf of EUPAE on 6 October 2022 see here.  Its scope is broad as it covers artificial intelligence, health and safety, telework, the right to disconnect, protection of personal data, training and outsourcing. A request to the Commission to implement the agreement by a directive was also filed on the day of the signing, see here for more information.

In the course of 2021-2022, the Committee has also been involved in a multisectoral project to better prevent violence and harassment from third parties at work, a growing phenomenon in many public services. An action plan was agreed at the final project conference in Madrid on 25 November 2022 including the possibility to review the 2010 mulitsectoral guidelines to prevent and tackle third party violence and harassment, see here

For a more detailed summary of the Committee’s achievements,  please see SDC CCGA’s 10th anniversary statement in December 2020, see here

The Commission’s database includes all the texts adopted by the SDC CGA since 2010, see her