With their role recognised in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and with their mandate to determine working conditions in most European countries, this should be obvious. Why, then, are European-level social partners today experiencing a watering down of their role and input into policy making at EU level?
Following the Commission relaunch of Social Dialogue and the statement signed by the European cross-sectoral social partners, Commission and Council in June 2016, industriAll and Ceemet have today published a joint declaration on how they as sectoral social partners better can contribute to a European policy making that fosters competitiveness and job creation in the European manufacturing industry at a time of vast structural change in our economies and societies.
In the declaration, industriAll and Ceemet call for full respect for social partner autonomy but also a renewed focus on the representativeness, mandate and capacity of the actors involved to ensure the legitimacy of their actions. Direct input from the sectors of the economy can be a valuable tool at EU level, but if we want to ensure a sustainable and value adding European sectoral social dialogue, we need to get the basics right first.