What are the conclusions of the published in September this year. by Eurofound report on building the capacity of effective social dialogue in the European Union countries?
In a report by Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions), he tried to find answers to questions about the needs of social partners in relation to, inter alia, to the national framework for collective bargaining or involvement in European social dialogue. As part of its 2017-2020 work program, Eurofound has reviewed work done so far and other sources to identify needs and initiatives for capacity building for social partners at national level. They were later discussed, among others in Riga and Gdańsk, and then the organization was asked to share their knowledge and experience gained from the project. The context of this research has changed COVID-19, but many needs and problems remain the same. It is already known that social dialogue helped respond to the crisis – which was reflected in shaping activities supporting the continuity of work, extending social protection to vulnerable groups, securing employees who had to continue to perform their duties, in the rapid reorganization of work, including remote work. The authors of the publication note that while they are aware that social dialogue has contributed to the crisis response, it is also clear to them that the pandemic will affect resources and dialogue building tools. It would be about strengthening the skills, abilities and powers of social partners to engage effectively at various levels (EU, national, regional, sectoral, corporate and company) in the following areas: social dialogue, collective bargaining, (co-) regulation of labor relations, tripartite consultation and bilateral, creating public policy and influencing the shaping of public policy through jurisprudence. The report emphasizes that bilateral social dialogue and collective bargaining at the national level are the backbone of the industrial relations system and should be adequately supported by a legal framework, while respecting the subsidiarity principle and the autonomy of social partners. The report also quoted a representative of Latvian employers, who emphasized that he sees difficulty in identifying the added value of bilateral dialogue, as almost everything is regulated in the Labor Code, so there is little room for collective bargaining. The Polish representative of employers, in turn, asked how to strengthen bilateral dialogue, especially in cases where an agreement was reached by employers and trade unions and ignored by the government. Would it be possible to create an institutional appeal or envisage other steps? According to the Romanian government representative, an effective bilateral dialogue, based on mutual trust, willingness and voluntary action, is a key condition for an effective tripartite dialogue, which also requires political will and commitment.
Source: Dialog w centrum i w Regionach nr 9/2020 (87) , Ministerstwo Rodziny, Pracy i Polityki Społecznej