Social Dialogue

Social dialogue contributes to the development of European social policy. The social partner organisations are involved in discussions, consultations, negotiations and joint actions conducted at European level, in addition to those conducted at national level.

This dialogue started in 1985, launched by the European Commission, and subsequently recognised by the Single European Act. How European social dialogue works was defined in the Agreement on social policy annexed to the Treaty of Maastricht, and then integrated into the Treaty of Amsterdam. The Treaty of Lisbon recognises the importance of the role of the social partners at European level.

European social dialogue can be sectoral, where social partners meet according to their sector of activity in Sectoral Dialogue Committees, or cross-industry, which see discussions on the economy as a whole within specific summits.

CESI is involved in several sectoral social dialogue committees, in which it discusses and negotiates issues concerning the future working conditions of millions of workers in Europe with other trade union confederations and employers’ representatives.

European social dialogue can also be either tripartite, with the inclusion of the European institutions, or bipartite, purely between employer organisations and trade unions.

More information about CESI in social dialogue.