Social Dialogue

Social Dialogue in the Chemical Industry

In 2004 ECEG entered, on behalf of the European chemical industry, in a formalised social dialogue in the form of a Sector Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC). This policy instrument set up by the European Commission is provided to the chemical social partners – and to currently more than 40 other sectors operating in the internal market .

The counterpart of ECEG in the SSDC is industriALL European Trade Union, representing around 8 million workers from all European countries.

The SSDC enables the social partners to agree on common positions on subjects dealt with politically at European level.

For further information please go to the SSDC website:
http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=480&langId=en&intPageId=17

 

Background

The European Commission promoted the SSDC between the representatives of the European trade unions and employers' organisations as an instrument for better governance and for social and economic reforms. The social partners have reached a large number of autonomous agreements at the European level which they implement themselves, while others have been transformed into binding legislation.

European social dialogue refers to discussions, consultations, negotiations and joint actions involving organisations representing the two sides of industry (employers and workers). It takes two main forms - a tripartite dialogue involving the public authorities, and a bipartite dialogue between the European employers and trade union organisations.

The bipartite dialogue takes place at cross-industry level and within sectoral social dialogue committees. As a result of their representativeness, European social partners have the right to be consulted by the Commission, and may decide to negotiate binding agreements. The institutional basis for social dialogue can be found in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). European social dialogue has resulted in over 300 joint texts by the European social partners, which are included in a database.
The sectoral social dialogue committees consist of a maximum of 64 representatives of the social partners, comprising an equal number of employers' and workers' representatives. They are chaired either by a representative of the social partners or, at their request, by the representative of the Commission, who, in all cases, provides the secretariat for the committees.

Each committee adopts its own rules of procedure, and holds at least one plenary meeting per year, dealing with more specific questions at meetings of enlarged secretariats or restricted working parties. The task of preparing meetings, agenda-setting and follow-up is most frequently delegated to the respective secretariats of the social partners, together with the Commission.