Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Social dialogue - 14.03.2006

Social Dialogue conference (13 March 2006): CEMR and EPSU inform EU Commission of the situation in new member states and candidate countries
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) and EPSU (European federation of Public Services Union) took the floor at the first EU Commission conference on the future of the social dialogue and its role in the years ahead, in Brussels, on 13 March 2006.
The secretary general of EPSU, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, spoke on behalf of the social sectoral dialogue committee of local and regional government, representing EPSU and CEMR. On the background of the study that was done in 2005, she presented the situation in the new member states and the candidate countries. Mrs Fischbach-Pyttel explained that there are very diverse local and regional structures in these countries and a systematic social dialogue is not yet established everywhere.
EU Commissioner for Employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, Vladimir Spidla stressed his interest in getting feedback from the social partners on how to face the challenges that we are facing in the EU, mainly linked to globalisation, enlargement and the demographic change. He added that social dialogue is an instrument that helps manage changes in the area of employment, and confirmed his dedication to pursue the establishment of respective structures in the member states and the candidate countries.
A selection of social partners presented their experience in the areas of management of change, capacity building in the new member states and the development of competences.
In the debate, social partners agreed that the European Commission's initiative was most welcome and that it should continue to insist that social dialogue structures have to be established in all Member States, since it is a part of the -acquis communautaire' and the Copenhagen criteria.
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