24.05.2019

Social dialogue on local level

Trade unions from the SOE countries discussed the state of social dialogue at local level on 20 and 21 May 2019 in Prolom banja, Serbia.

FES / Trade unions from the SOE countries

FES / Trade unions from the SOE countries

Social dialogue is very important at all levels, not only for the social partners, but also for the whole society.

Decentralization of social dialogue is part of democratization in the SEE countries. The tripartite committees at local level discuss both the state of the local labor market and all topics of interest to the local community.

Dusko Vukovic, a member of the Social Economic Council in Serbia (SEC), emphasized in his inauguration speech that SEC at national level has been operating at national level since 2001, but without much importance.

The rotating chairmanship of the Social Economic Council has a major impact on its activities, so during the chairmanship of the local self-government or employers' side, the Council was very passive.

Further discussion showed many similarities among the participating countries. Institutionalized social dialogue is at a low level, with only a few steps forward in recent decades. It is difficult to improve the social dialogue if trade unions do not have strong and well-organized employers' associations as partners. Moreover, the authorities at different levels usually do not show much interest, which also makes the faster development of the institutionalized social dialogue difficult.

The following conclusions have been adopted unanimously:

  • There is undeniable demand for more regional events on this topic;
  • Trade unions need to change their working model, thereby strengthening the social dialogue;
  • Trade union relations with the media need to be improved;
  • Strengthening the skills of all members of the Social Economic Council is very important.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Competence Center on the Future of Work

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