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Social partners

The social partner organisations represent the interests of European workers and employers. The main cross-industry organisations representing social partners at EU level are:

  • the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC);
  • the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe (BUSINESSEUROPE);
  • the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME)
  • the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation (CEEP).

Alongside these cross-industry organisations are many other socio-professional groups representing specific or sectoral interests.

Article 152 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EUrecognises the role of the social partners in labour relations and European social dialogue. They represent their members during consultations with the Commission and the negotiation of collective agreements.

They also sit with the European Economic and Social Committee, alongside other organisations representing civil society.