Post crisis social dialogue – best and innovative practices in the EU 28

The evolution of the global financial crisis from a banking crisis in 2008, into a fiscal and public debt crisis in 2010, gave rise to two distinct phases in terms of the role and impact on industrial relations. In 2008-2009, social dialogue played an important role in many countries, in devising and implementing national tripartite responses. From 2010 onwards, however, pressure from mounting fiscal deficits and public debt ratios caused governments to implement reforms with an immediate effect, often in the absence of consultations with the social partners. As a result social dialogue and industrial relations systems underwent far reaching changes, where in some counties they began to be seen as part of the problem rather than the solution.
The reforms introduced significant changes to national systems of industrial relations, ranging from the decentralization of collective bargaining towards the company level and the weakening of national tripartite social dialogue mechanisms, to the rapid and often unilateral reduction of wages in the public sector. However, not all countries have been affected in the same manner.
The research focusses on the national level and:
I. gauge whether the role of social dialogue has been strengthened in the design of national reform programmes and the implementation of country specific recommendations meant to consolidate economic and jobs recovery and enhance national competitiveness;
II. assess whether existing institutions for tripartite consultations have proved well equipped and designed to facilitate such an involvement of social partners in the shaping of the reforms.

Start date: 05/05/2015

Finish date: 30/10/2016

Financing: Social Dialogue and Tripartism Unit -International Labour Organization / European Commission

Responsable researcher: Oscar Molina

Team: Fausto Miguélez

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