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Standing Committee on Employment

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Standing Committee on Employment


To promote at Community level joint action between Community institutions and representatives of employers and workers with a view to facilitating the coordination of Member States' employment policies.


Council Decision 1999/207/EC of 9 March 1999, reforming the Standing Committee on Employment and repealing Decision 70/532/EEC.


The Standing Committee on Employment (SCE) was set up by Council Decision 70/532/EEC of 24 December 1970 [Official Journal L 273, 17.12.1970], subsequently amended by Council Decision 75/62/EEC of 20 January 1975 [Official Journal L 21, 28.01.1975].

It was created in response to a wish expressed by the representatives of employers' and workers' organisations at the conference on employment problems held in Luxembourg on 27 and 28 April 1970.

However, over the years, and above all as Community-level employment policy has developed, it has become necessary to make some changes to the SCE in order to improve its operation.

In its resolution of 18 July 1997 on the Commission's communication on the development of social dialogue at Community level, the European Parliament called for urgent reform of the SCE and the introduction of coordination mechanisms between it and the Employment and Labour Market Committee.

The Economic and Social Committee stated in its opinion of 29 January 1997 on the Commission's above-mentioned communication that it would be advisable to give a higher profile to the Standing Committee on Employment.

In its communication of 20 May 1998 "Adapting and promoting the social dialogue at Community level", the Commission confirmed that the new context of Community social dialogue and the incorporation of the new employment title in the Treaty of Amsterdam justified the reform of the Standing Committee on Employment.

The SCE will, henceforth, be required to take into account the Community's social and economic objectives and be steered by the guidelines for employment and the broader ones on economic policy.


The task of the Committee is to ensure, in compliance with the Treaties and with due regard for the powers of the institutions and organs of the Communities, that there should be continuous dialogue, joint action and consultation between the Council - or, where appropriate, the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States - the Commission and the social partners in order to facilitate coordination by the Member States of their employment policies in harmony with the objectives of the Community.

The Committee shall complete its work before any measures are adopted by the relevant institutions.


The work of the Committee shall involve the participation of:

  • the Council or the representatives of the Governments of the Member States;

and, where appropriate:

  • the Commission;
  • employers' organisations;
  • workers' organisations.

There shall be a maximum of 20 representatives of the social partners, divided into two delegations of equal size, i.e. 10 workers' representatives and 10 employers' representatives. The delegations of the social partners shall cover the whole economy, being composed of European organisations representing either general interests or more specific interests of supervisory and professional staff and small and medium-sized businesses.

The Commission shall send the Chairman of the Committee a list of these organisations on a regular basis. This list must take into account the way in which the two sides of industry are represented at European level.

Chairman of the Committee

The Committee shall be chaired by a representative of the Member State holding the Presidency of the Council.

The Chairman:

  • makes preparations for the meetings in close contact with the Commission and the organisations on the two sides of industry participating in the work of the committee;
  • convenes meetings as required;
  • draws up a provisional agenda for the meetings;
  • chairs the discussions and summarises them at the end.

The Commission prepares and gathers the information that will enable the Committee to do its work.

This Decision repeals Council Decision 70/532/EEC.

4) deadline for implementation of the legislation in the member states

5) date of entry into force (if different from above)


6) references

Official Journal L 72, 18.03.1999

7) follow-up work

8) commission implementing measures