Commission commits to more and better social dialogue in EU

2 Oct 2013

The European Commission today committed itself to deepening social integration in the European Union and building a social dimension to the Economic and Monetary Union. Following a continuous erosion of social dialogue between member states and social partners, the Commission has proposed ideas to rebuild what has been lost and strengthen social dialogue in Europe.

Commission commits to more and better social dialogue in EU

The proposals, presented by the Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs László Andor, aim to better equip Member States with the tools to better assess and as a result act more effectively in facing employment and social challenges. To achieve this, a scoreboard has been proposed which will attempt to detect social imbalances and analyse how unemployment levels are evolving.

The Commission also wants to encourage Member States to focus more of their spending on promoting social inclusion and combating poverty by investing at least 20% of their European Social Fund envelopes in this area. Labour mobility will also be encouraged further by reducing the costs and obstacles which individuals face in moving around the EU for work.

The third pillar of the new proposals focuses on strengthening social dialogue. This long overdue proposal will aim not only to consult social partners more, but in a better way. For example, EU social partners will have more input in the development of the Annual Growth Survey, the document which sets out what the Commission believes should be the overall budgetary, economic and social priorities for the coming year.

Member States will also be encouraged to discuss all reforms linked to the Country-Specific Recommendations, which guide national policies on the basis of a review of the economic and social performance of a country in the previous year. This in particular has been called for continuously by CESI and is a welcome step in the right direction for the European Commission to be taking. Workers must be consulted and their opinions taken into account to ensure success in reforms.

On being asked if he was disappointed with the accused lack of ambition in the proposals, Commissioner Andor responded that these measures were part of a new phase in the Economic and Monetary Union.

The communication from the European Commission can be read in full here.