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European Commission - Press release

Social dialogue in Europe: together for a new start

Brussels, 04 March 2015

Tomorrow the European Commission will organise, in Brussels, a High-Level Conference bringing together leaders of European and national employers' and workers' organisations, Members of the European Parliament and representatives from the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

This Conference, called "A new start for social dialogue", is an important step forward in strengthening and deepening dialogue with a broad cross-section of social partners in order to better address the economic and social challenges faced in Europe, as set out in the Political Guidelines and Work Programme of the European Commission.

Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: "This High-Level Conference is the first of many steps where the Commission will reaffirm its commitment to engaging with employers and workers in shaping the European policies that affect us all. This is becoming increasingly important: not least considering the Commission's mandate in EU economic governance, and the challenge of helping cement the recovery of the European economy in a sustainable and fair way."

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, commented: "Today's economic and social challenges require a thriving social dialogue at both EU and national level. Where social dialogue is strong, economies are more competitive and socially resilient. The involvement of social partners in the design and implementation of policies is crucial to strengthen competitiveness and fairness, and is a prerequisite for the functioning of Europe's social market economy".

Bringing together more than 400 participants, the Conference will identify how social dialogue can contribute in six specific areas: "the European Semester"; "industrial relations and capacity building at national level"; "the EU's macro-economic strategy"; "social dialogue and better regulation"; "the digital single market" and "skills, education and training needs in a changing working environment".

In his closing address, President Juncker will set out his views on the key role of social dialogue in addressing Europe's challenges.


Effective social dialogue is the cornerstone of the European social model. It is a prerequisite for the functioning of Europe’s social market economy and crucial to promote both competitiveness and fairness.

Well-developed tripartite and bipartite structures have been put in place which have produced tangible results, including a range of agreements implemented by EU legislation. However, in recent years, the difficult socio-economic environment has made social dialogue more difficult. The Commission is committed to working more closely with social partners to improve the quality and effectiveness of social dialogue at all levels and todevelop solutions jointly for the main challenges faced in Europe.

President Juncker has committed before the European Parliament to a new start for social dialogue. The Political Guidelines and Work Programme of the Commission, as well as its internal organisation, reflect this commitment.

For more information

EU social dialogue: Questions and Answers

Brochure on a new start for social dialogue

For more details about the conference:

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Report on Industrial Relations in Europe in 2014

For more information on Social Dialogue:

Follow Valdis Dombrovskis on twitter

Follow Marianne Thyssen on twitter

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