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Industrial Relations in Europe 2012 - Social dialogue under great strain

Brussels, 2013_04_22

Monday 22 April 2013

The report of the European Commission on the state of industrial relations in Europe in 2012 finds that, only a few years ago, social dialogue was recognised as a worthy instrument to deal with the crisis, but, today, the practice of social dialogue is more and more under threat.

For example, in the sector of public services, as a result of the economic crisis, governments have taken measures with effects on the organisation and operation of public services, without consulting the social partners.

Eurofedop is happy with the publication, every two years, of the report on the state of industrial relations in the European Union, but deplores the findings as made in the 2012 report.

On regular occasions in recent years, Eurofedop has examined and discussed the state of social dialogue in member countries and candidate countries and informed the Commission of its conclusions.

Thus, in 2011, in Berlin, Eurofedop held a seminar on the effects of the financial crisis, in particular with regard to local and regional authorities. The importance of social dialogue in response to austerity measures taken as a result of the crisis was one of the conclusions of the seminar.

In 2012, at a seminar organised in Belgrade, the conclusion was that social partners should be included in the decision-making process for the organisation of public services.

And at the seminar set up on 31.01 and 01.02.2013 in Vienna, particularly intended for trade union members from Central and Eastern European and Western Balkan countries, it was found that social dialogue in those countries is still in need for considerable improvement.

Eurofedop highly appreciates the work of the Commission in the field of social dialogue and agrees with its conclusions on social dialogue being under strain, but nevertheless, having learned that the Commission plans a reduction of staff and means for the organisation of social dialogue at European level, asks if this is not in contradiction with the Commission’s plans to promote social dialogue?

Industrial Relations in Europe 2012 - Report
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