On Thursday, July 1st the report of the European Parliament under the title 'Democracy at work: A European framework for employees' participation rights and the revision of the European Works Council Directive' was presented in the committee of employment and social affairs, followed by an exchange of views with stakeholders and MEPs.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, which resulted in a health and economic crisis, the importance of social partnership with regards to company level cooperation has once again been proven. Taking the example of Austria, the crisis management handled by social partnership is a noteworthy success factor for our location and thus equally a success for both employees, as well as employers in the pandemic.
This approach is equally reflected in my approach towards the report of the European Parliament on the representation of the workers, which I negotiate as EPP-Shadow Rapporteur. The Austrian model of social partnership should therefore serve as a proven model and best-practice example.
We should follow this Austrian approach at the European level as well: By getting out of the crisis, opportunities for further educational and vocational training, as well as up- and re-skilling are needed more than ever - for employees as well as for the unemployed. The ultimate goal is to guarantee lifelong learning.
And it takes a lot of entrepreneurial freedom in order to ensure that companies and their employees can jointly take advantage of these opportunities that arise. Our aim is that workers' rights and the work opportunities of the European works councils are further improved.
In order to do so, it is absolutely crucial to further strengthen the role of the social partners at European level. I deem it essential to prove the EU’s strength to the outside by holding up and promoting these workers’ rights and labour standards – not only within the European Union but also in other parts of the world.