About Social Dialogue

Social dialogue, as the art of reaching a compromise in Poland, gained particular significance after the political changes that took place after 1989, the consequence of which was, inter alia, development of new entities and new methods of shaping and regulating social and economic relations.

The “Social dialogue – key to development” project is to promote the principles of social dialogue among employers and organizations representing employees. The project, financed by Norway through Norwegian Funds 2014-2021 under the Social Dialogue – Decent Work program, is a form of non-returnable assistance granted by Norway to European Union Member States. The implementation of the project is based on joint action for “a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

Why dialogue?

In Polish conditions of building a market economy and political democracy, the method of social dialogue and related agreements have become an important structural element of the labor system and shaping the country’s socio-economic policy. Social dialogue has played and plays an important role in reforming the state, while guaranteeing harmonious development and conflict prevention and preserve social peace.

Social dialogue is – according to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland – the principle on which “fundamental rights for the state” are based (preamble). Dialogue and cooperation of social partners is also one of the pillars of the social market economy – art. 20 of the Polish Constitution.

The evolution of dialogue

In Poland, social dialogue has been conducted since the 1990s in an institutionalized form. Among the formalized bodies of social dialogue, the most important role of nationwide importance, due to its competences and scope of activity, is the Social Dialogue Council. This is primarily due to the statutory regulation of its functioning, consisting in exercising powers and competences within the framework of the legal and constitutional order, the possibility of bringing matters of great social or economic importance to the court, the solution of which is important for maintaining social peace, conducting social dialogue at central level (national) with representative trade union organizations and employers.

Earlier, in the “Pact on state-owned enterprises undergoing transformation” signed on February 22, 1993, its signatories expressed their will to create a Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs, which was to be a platform for developing a common position on the directions and instruments of the socio-economic policy of the state – as a forum reliable and responsible dialogue. The implementation of the provisions contained in the Pact was the appointment of the Commission on the basis of Resolution No. 7/94 of February 15, 1994.

After the adoption of the Act on the Social Dialogue Council and other social dialogue institutions in 2014, they began due to the need to redefine the scope and mode of operation of the institutions in which social dialogue is conducted at the national and regional level after a 20-year period of operation (since 1994 r.) Tripartite Commission for Socio-Economic Affairs changes with the principles and institutional forms of dialogue.

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