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Parliamentary questions
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26 June 2019
Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001912/2019

The Commission promotes European social dialogue, while fully respecting the autonomy of the social partners and the diversity of national industrial relations systems. To facilitate their dialogue the Commission provides the two sides of industry with balanced support. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also take part of social dialogue at European level. For instance, SMEunited, the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe, is a recognised European employers’ organisation taking part in the European Social Dialogue. The representativeness studies regularly undertaken by Eurofound also show that SMEs are well represented by many sectoral European level employer organisations.(1)

Regarding the national level, it is for the Member states to set the legal and institutional framework for social dialogue in their country. The Commission is however fully committed to support social dialogue also at national level, including for SMEs. Under Art. 148 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in alignment with the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Employment Guidelines(2) adopted in July 2018 call on Member States ‘to ensure the timely and meaningful involvement of the social partners in the design and implementation of employment, social and, where relevant, economic reforms and policies (…)’. Within the framework of the European Semester, the Commission also assesses the situation of national social dialogue and the involvement of social partners including those representing SMEs. On 5 June 2019, the Commission proposed three country specific recommendations on social dialogue to Hungary, Poland and Romania.

(1)See https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/observatories/eurwork/representativeness-studies
(2)See: https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/2018-european-semester-employment-guidelines_en

Last updated: 26 June 2019Legal notice