EZA MAGAZINE

Report on Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining

The EU Commission has published a report on the future of the Social Dialogue. A summary.

The Berlaymont building in Brussels and seat of the European Commission. Photo: EC AV Service.

The strengthening and promotion of social dialogue and collective bargaining is a key objective of the European Commission. To this end, in July 2020, EU-Commission Nicolas Schmit has appointed Andrea Nahles, former German minister of labour and social affairs, as special adviser on social dialogue and asked her to prepare a report on how this can be achieved.

Maarten Libeer of VLEVA, the bridge between Flanders and Europe, made a summary of that report that has now been published. That report consists of three key objectives and 10 specific actions:

1. Raising the profile and awareness of social dialogue within the EU

  • A new award for innovative social dialogue
  • A new programme for young future leaders of social partner organizations

2. Improving the structures and processes of the European social dialogue

  • Greater involvement of the social partners in the European Semester
  • Reviewing the functioning of the Tripartite Social Summit and the Social Dialogue Committee
  • Improving consultation of the social partners on new Commission initiatives
  • More European agreements by social partners
  • Promotion of national registers of collective agreements

3. Support for capacity-building of the national social partners

  • Funding for the social dialogue
  • Improved exchange of experience and best practice
  • More dialogue on forward-looking issues

The most important proposal is the creation of a new European programme for young leaders of national social partner organizations. The European Commission intends to organize an annual 2-3 week programme of visits and information sessions in Brussels for future leaders of both employers' and trade union organizations, to familiarise them with the workings of the European institutions and, above all, to establish informal contacts and networks between the national social partners. It is compared to a kind of Erasmus+ for young leaders of social partner organizations.

You can read the full report here: