EU Special Adviser Andrea Nahles presents "Report on Strengthening Social Dialogue in the EU
BDA AGENDA 04/21 | REPORT FROM BRUSSELS
The report makes recommendations on strengthening the social dialogue and the specific role of the social partners in the policy-making process. The proposals are also to be incorporated into the action plan for implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights (ESSR).
Andrea Nahles, the European Commission's Special Adviser on Social Dialogue, has presented her "Report on Strengthening Social Dialogue in the EU". It contains a series of recommendations and proposals for initiatives on how social dialogue and the social partners can play an even more central and prominent role in the economic and social policy-making process.
The report pursues three overarching objectives to strengthen the social dialogue: raising its profile and awareness of its importance, improving structures and processes, and building the capacity of the national social partners. In concrete terms, the social partners are to be more closely involved in the European Semester, for example, and their consultation on new Commission initiatives is to be improved. Financial support for national social partners, for example through ESF+ funds, is also suggested.
Nahles' mandate explicitly includes the preparation of the action plan for the implementation of the ESSR. It now remains to be seen how the Commission will take up the report's proposals in this respect.
Employers were involved in the drafting of the report at both European and national level, but do not necessarily share every demand. Overall, it is positive that the special role of the social partners and the social dialogue, which is also guaranteed by the Treaties, is to be more clearly recognised and strengthened.
However, Nahles also proposes, for example, national registers of collective agreements as a source of information on best practices and to strengthen transparency: However, this could be accompanied by blanket rights of access, which would be problematic given the confidentiality of collective agreements in some member states. Her recommendation to revise the directive on information and consultation of employees is also a general policy demand and exceeds the mandate of the special advisor Nahles.