What was the subject of an expert meeting within the Employment Committee on 8 December?
On 8 December 2020, an expert meeting was held in the form of a video conference to analyse the involvement of the social partners in reforms and policies within the framework of the European Semester and to prepare national recovery and resilience plans.
The meeting was organised as part of an annual review by the Employment Committee (EMCO). The focus was on the three Member States, Hungary, Poland and Romania, which received a specific recommendation for social dialogue for 2020. During the meeting, government representatives explained how they involve the social partners in semester reforms and national plans. Employers’ and trade unions have expressed their views on this issue. In their view, consultations on economic reforms, labour market reforms and national recovery and resilience plans operate at an unsatisfactory level. Despite the formal institutional environment in these countries, progress is slow. Timely and meaningful consultation with the social partners and genuine social dialogue, at tripartite and bilateral level, are essential to counteract the effects of the crisis. The social partners must be involved by governments in designing and implementing national recovery and resilience plans. The combination of investment and economic, social and labour market reforms requires genuine involvement of the social partners, including craft representatives and SMEs.
Attention was also drawn to the necessary distinction between the role of the social partners in the economy and labour markets and the role of other civil society actors. She concluded on the usefulness of this annual process to take stock of progress and to continue to insist on stronger efforts.