Styrking av dialogen mellom arbeidslivets parter i Europa
BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonens pressemelding 25.1.2023)
Commission sets out concrete actions for greater involvement of social partners at national and EU level
Today, the Commission presents an initiative to further strengthen and promote social dialogue with concrete actions at national and EU level. It renews our strong commitment to social dialogue as a cornerstone of the EU social market economy and its competitiveness. The initiative empowers social dialogue to adapt to the changing world of work and new trends on the labour market, against the backdrop of the transitions to a digital and climate neutral economy and the emergence of new forms of employment.
The negotiations between organisations representing employers and workers (social partners) through social dialogue and collective bargaining help improve living and working conditions, such as pay, hours of work, annual leave, parental leave, training, and health and safety measures. They also have a crucial role to play in adapting to changing economic and social circumstances and achieving the productivity gains that are necessary to enhance the competitiveness of European businesses. All this helps to ensure social fairness and democracy at work, and boost Europe's prosperity and resilience.
Social partners also play a crucial role in times of crisis or change. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, they quickly helped to organise health and safety measures at work, and short time work schemes. Social partners are also helping to find balanced solutions to adapting the labour market to the digital age. The close cooperation between employers and employees is also essential to ensuring the efficient organisation of industrial production activities, and to equipping the work force with green and digital skills.
However, the degree and quality of the involvement of social partners varies considerably among countries. At the same time, union membership and the share of workers covered by collective agreements at national level is declining (from an EU average of about 66% in 2000 to about 56% in 2019). Newer forms of employment such as platform work and certain groups such as young people are also less likely to be represented, with some sectors like care seeing a near-total absence of collective bargaining.
In this context, the Commission proposes a Council Recommendation, which sets out how EU countries can further strengthen social dialogue and collective bargaining at national level. The Commission also presents a Communication on reinforcing and promoting social dialogue at EU level. Social partners were closely involved in preparing these initiatives.
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