Sectoral social dialogue in Europe is an instrument of EU social policy and industrial relations at the sectoral level. These are negotiations between the European union and employers` organisations in a given economic sector. In its communication entitled `European Social Dialogue, a Force for Innovation and Change`, the Commission said that the sector level was `the appropriate level for debate on many employment-related issues, such as working conditions, vocational training and industrial change, knowledge society, demographic patterns, enlargement and globalisation` (COM (2002) 341 final of 26 June 2002). That is why the Commission is committed to creating more committees to ensure that all important sectors are covered. In October 2016, 43 sectoral social dialogue committees developed a large number of joint texts and agreements covering more than 6 million companies and 145 million workers in a number of sectors. As far as the results are concerned, the number of texts adopted in committee is extremely stable. With regard to the topics covered, an analysis of the texts highlights the diversity of the topics discussed, many of which are directly linked to the EU agenda. Overall, the analysis of sectoral social dialogue in Europe reveals a large number of documents that are unevenly distributed over the years, but which are nevertheless increasing. First meeting of social partners in Val Duchesse (Belgium) at the invitation of President Jacques Delors In July 2015, the EU`s social partners adopted their fifth multi-year work programme (2015-2017). This is the case with active aging; reconciliation of work, private and family life and gender equality; Mobility and migration Investment and strengthening of the industrial base; skills needs in digital economies Active labour market policy; Early learning and employment capacity building and better implementation of the results of the European social dialogue. The Framework Agreement on Work-Related Stress (2004). In 2005, the European social dialogue celebrated its 20th anniversary: a successful but difficult, continuous and ambitious ascent towards the institutionalisation and autonomy of this unique process of setting up industrial relations at European level. Since the introduction of the Social Policy Agreement in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 at the latest, European social dialogue, at all levels and in its various forms, has been an important instrument for reconciling economic performance with social progress.
According to the European Commission, 905 texts have been adopted since 1998: 85 inter-professional texts and 820 sectoral results (Social Dialogue Database, November 2016). With regard to sectoral social dialogue, 820 texts have been adopted in 43 sectors in recent decades, but only 14 agreements, which has led some experts and EU actors to support the need for greater effective social dialogue. In total, the number of agreements signed represents less than 2.5% of the texts signed. It is a call for a subcontractor to provide IT support as part of the implementation of the CES/IRES/ASTREES project to “establish worker representation and social dialogue in the platform and application economy.” (Time to file bids: April 26, 2019). Thirdly, the European tripartite social dialogue includes the European institutions (Commission and, if necessary, the Council and the European Council) as well as the social partners. Each committee adopts its own internal rules and holds at least one plenary session per year on more specific issues at meetings of expanded secretariats or small working groups. The preparation of the meetings, the setting of the agenda and the follow-up are delegated with the Commission to the respective secretariats of the social partners.