"The Commission must respect the autonomy of social partners," S&Ds warn

European Commission and the Latvian Presidency are seeking to strengthen social dialogue

Today, S&D Euro MPs called on the European Commission to respect the autonomy of social partners in Europe. The social dialogue was debated during a meeting of EU ministers responsible for employment and social policy yesterday in Riga. 

Marita Ulvskog, S&D Euro MP and vice-chair of the employment and social affairs committee in the European Parliament said:

"I am pleased that the European Commission and the Latvian Presidency are seeking to strengthen social dialogue and to have more involvement from social partners in the European Semester.

"However, these efforts will be undermined if the Commission confirms its plan to introduce an impact assessment on the social conventions before forwarding them to the Council of ministers.

"This measure, which is due to be announced in the package on better regulation (REFIT), on 19 May, could have a major negative impact on the social dialogue."
 
S&D Group spokeswoman on employment and social affairs Jutta Steinruck added:
 
 "We are opposed to such a proposal. The autonomous social dialogue, and the central role of the social partners in European social policy, must not be questioned.

"We need minimum standards in Europe. And we need a European labour market with fair employment. We can only achieve this with strong social partners and with a clear European social policy.

"The Socialists and Democrats will not accept an erosion of important social gains under the guise of reducing bureaucracy."