The new European policy for social integration: social dialogue, workers' participation and fighting youth unemployment

“The new European policy for social integration: social dialogue, workers' participation and fighting youth unemployment” was the title of a seminar organized by MCL/EFAL (Movimento Cristiano Lavoratori/Ente Nazionale per la Formazione e l'Addestramento dei Lavoratori) from April 8-10, 2019 in Brussels (Belgium) with the support of the EU and EZA.

59 representatives of workers’ organizations from 10 European countries (Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Spain and Portugal) took part in the seminar.

Among the European personalities who attended the seminar, we would like to highlight the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, who was very interested in the work that has been done in recent years through social dialogue projects in the European context.

MEP Giovanni La Via commented the "European Pillar of Social Rights" and found that the social standards of the 28 EU countries are still very far from the goal of uniformity that can guarantee equal treatment of all EU citizens. For Mr La Via, on the other hand, "the common reasoning of the different Member States, joint decisions and, above all, an EU must create support for the weakest countries as one of its priorities in order to achieve real integration that leaves no one behind"

The topics discussed and addressed.

One of the priorities of our time is to restore cohesion and social dialogue in the countries of the European Union by promoting education, promoting active citizenship and reducing inequalities. MCL President Carlo Costalli opened the session on the first day of the seminar. He called for inclusive policies in Europe to start all over again to ensure and to promote social cohesion.

"The Europe of multiculturalism, based on the idea that all cultures are the same, has failed," according to the report by Prof. Giovanni Maddalena, professor at the University of Molise: This failure is the result of the idea that "there are no common values, no European roots to defend. This is how we have brought the law, which is an essential element for the coexistence of the peoples, into a crisis". It also means that there is a need to face the future challenges that we expect" based on the need to regain our popular roots".

But what can Europe actually do to improve the lives of its citizens? Luc Van Den Brande, President of EZA, stated: “The first thing to do is to significantly improve the level of democracy. A growing awareness of multiculturalism and globalisation brings with it both internal and external challenges, which never must, however, undermine the foundations of Europe."

Francesco Seghezzi, director of Adapt, spoke about production and employee participation models, noting the implications for real economic democracy and stressing the need to "develop participatory models that enable company goals to be achieved together".


The conclusions with some suggestions were developed at the last meeting in a round table coordinated by EFAL President Sergio Silvani.

What challenges does Europe face? How can we restart the European project without questioning its basics? The topic and role of social dialogue on changes in employment and on the labour market and the associated challenges remain central, such as the modernisation of the labour market, the quality of work, the anticipation, willingness and management of changes and restructuring, a green Economy, flexicurity, skills, mobility and migration, youth employment, health and safety at work, work-life balance, gender equality, measures to combat discrimination at work, active and healthy aging and prolongation of working life, active inclusion and decent work … All these topics were discussed in detail in this seminar and special attention was widely discussed to the role of social dialogue as a starting point for real changes in Europe.

Social dialogue remains the cornerstone of the European social model and only through this will the social partners be able to make an active contribution to shaping European social policy.