NFU News

NFU analysis – European Commission communication on strengthening EU social dialogue

Last week, the Commission released its actions to strengthening social dialogue both at the national and EU level. The action package included:

  • Commission communication on strengthening social dialogue on national and EU level.
  • Proposal for Council recommendation to strengthen social dialogue within the EU

NFU coordinates the social dialogue for the Nordic finance trade unions in both the banking and insurance sector. Here is our initial analysis of the ambition to strengthening the sector social dialogue at EU level.

NFU welcomes that the European Commission is giving its full support to social dialogue at EU level and recognise the role it has. NFU welcomes that the Commission sees the need to have a continuous overview of how the social dialogue can be updated regularly.

Among the proposed measures that the commission presents NFU believe that:

The proposal that the Commission will set up social dialogue coordinators in each Commission service is welcomed. NFU and its affiliates have had a lot of negative experiences with getting the DG FISMA (the DG responsible for the financial sector) to take part in the social dialogue meetings. This has limited the Commission’s role in the dialogue and the possibility for social partners to take part in policy making discussions (something that the Commission is encouraging in the communication). NFU welcomes these coordinators and hope that the social dialogue will be recognised in all parts of the Commission and level up the policy discussions in the sector social dialogue.

On a negative note, the Commission is still communicating that they will continue its overview of the meeting structure, most likely continue to promote hybrid/digital meetings. NFU recognise the need to limit the environmental impact of the meetings but see a democratic problem with limiting the access to Brussels for trade unions. The whole idea of the social dialogue is to have vibrant discussions between social partners and the Commission. The digital meetings are limiting the dialogue aspect. NFU urge the Commission to at least always offer hybrid meetings.

NFU believes that the Social dialogue at the EU sector level is an important tool for social partners to build relationships but mostly to be able to find and negotiate joint statements and agreements on topics relevant to finance employees. Strong recognition of the Social dialogue is key from all partners in the dialogue and we strongly urge the Commission to support and create the resources and opportunities to carry out the dialogue in a fruitful way.

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