The effectiveness of national systems of social protection

A working group about “The effectiveness of national systems of social protection” was organised from 5 to 8 October 2017 in Predeal, Romania by CNS "Cartel Alfa" / F.N.CORESI (Confederaţia Naţională Sindicală "Cartel Alfa" / Fundaţia Naţională CORESI) in cooperation with EZA and with the support of the European Union. The working group was part of the EZA project series on the "Strategies of European institutions – the European Pillar of Social Rights". 43 representatives of workers’ organisations from Romania, Bulgaria, Portugal and Belgium participated in the working group.

One of the most important aspects of the seminar was the fact that representatives from a large scale of institutions and organisations gathered at the same table, had the chance to exchange opinions and experiences, enriching in this manner the picture of the present society, perceived from different perspectives.

Another important aspect of the seminar was the fact that the participants were able to develop knowledge on the ways in which social security systems are organised in other EU member states and on the historical development of the social dimension of Europe.

Moreover, the event took place in a crucial moment because the Romanian government has proposed to radically change the way in which social contributions are paid. In that way, the event allowed the national trade union confederation to strengthen its knowledge to get involved in social dialogue and if not in dialogue, in social action.

During the different sessions of the seminar the following main themes have been discussed:

  • Is the European labour market correct?
  • The effectiveness of national systems of social protection
  • Differences and similarities between national systems of social protection - work group.
  • Proposals of the trade union organisations for the European social pillar

The participants identified several future actions:

  1. Joint action to stop the action of the Romanian Government to place the burden of social contributions entirely on workers and thus all the responsibility for the national protection systems. 
  2. Trade unions action plan to increase support from the national government to adopt the Social Pillar and the proposed package of European legislative initiatives to enforce the 20 principles and rights. The Pillar can be used as a reference point for the National trade union confederation to refer to in trialogue meetings with the government.
  3. The National Trade union Confederation Cartel Alfa demands the amendment of the social dialogue law in order to allow and restore genuine social dialogue and collective bargaining at all levels, and to ensure trade union rights are respected to all non-standard workers, in order to enjoy the same benefits as standard workers;
  4. Exchange of experience with foreign trade union organisations
  5. Promoting measures for active aging population, access to health care and essential services;
  6. Joint action to fix the social problems facing Romanian working people and their unions including rising inequalities, low wages, precarious jobs and poor working conditions that undermine their ability to benefit from EU employment rights.