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European cross-industry social dialogue

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

European cross-industry social dialogue

Conducted at cross-industry level, European social dialogue enables general issues concerning the economy as a whole to be tackled. This type of dialogue is complementary to sectoral social dialogue which deals with particular issues specific to certain sectors of activity.

Tripartite cross-industry social dialogue

Tripartite social dialogue is conducted between wage earners, employers and the European institutions. It essentially takes place at cross-industry level, on political and technical issues, particularly in areas such macroeconomic policies, employment, social security, education and training.

This type of dialogue aims at ensuring the effective participation of social partners in implementing the European Union’s (EU) economic and social policies. As such, the European social partners meet at the Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment, the role of which is laid down in Article 152 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). They may also get together within working groups and at specific seminars.

Bipartite cross-industry social dialogue

Bipartite social dialogue is conducted between social partner organisations. At cross-industry level it takes place principally within the Social Dialogue Committee (SDC).

Under the framework of their cooperation, the social partners may adopt agreements which are implemented in the Member States through national procedures and practices (Article 155 of the TFEU).

In addition, in certain areas the social partners may request that their agreements be adopted in the form of a Decision by the Council, following a proposal by the Commission and informing the European Parliament. This procedure can only be implemented in the areas listed in Article 153 of the TFEU: for example, it relates to working conditions, health and safety of workers, social security, protection in the case of termination of an employment contract, etc.

European social partners

At cross-industry level, European workers are represented by:

European employers are represented by:

see also

last update 14.10.2011