The Minister of Labour and Social Justice, Marius Budăi, attended today, the 25th of June 2019, the High Level Conference on the topic: “A New Start for Collective Bargaining in Europe”, organised by the Ministry of Labour together with the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), at the Victoria Palace, in the context of Romania holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The event in Bucharest provided a framework for debate and exchange of views for representatives of the European Commission, of the International Labour Organization, Ministers of Labour of the Member States of the European Union and European and national social partners.
Among the participants invited at the event were Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, Jorg Tagger – Head of the Social Dialogue Unit within the European Commission, Heinz Koller – Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia within the International Labour Organization, Nils Trampe – Chair of the Industrial Relations Committee of BusinessEurope, Gehard Huemer – Director for Economic and Financial Affairs within the SME United, Bogdan Iuliu Hossu, President of Cartel ALFA and Leonard Bărăscu, President of CNSLR Frăția.
“If the 2016 Declaration on the Future of Social Dialogue was a first step in strengthening cooperation to improve European governance, we can consider today’s conference as the next step of the joint effort to identify the new role of collective bargaining in developing the European Union’s social dimension and protection of workers’ rights”, stated Minister Marius Budăi, at the opening of the event.
In his opinion, the practice of the EU Member States in the field of social dialogue and collective bargaining is not unitary, young democracies still have to learn about the associative organization and about how to cooperate constructively, voluntarily and committed.
The current challenges related to the development of the atypical forms of work, in the context of green economy, of the digitization and of technology, with major implications on vocational training, rights’ protection and social systems sustainability, lead to, according to the Romanian official, complex effects, new topics of dialogue and collective bargaining, as well as legitimate questions about the capacity of social actors. And the European Social Fund Plus could represent a new funding opportunity for organisations and for Member States in the effort to increase the capacity for action.
Marius Budăi considers that it is a shared responsibility of the Member States and of the European social partners to encourage and support the integration of national organizations into the similar European structures, as well as the strong involvement of the national social partners in the European dialogue and in the European collective bargaining at different levels.
“I think today all parties have expressed the willingness for cooperation and committed action to relaunch the collective bargaining in conjunction with the social agenda, in the effort to build a social Europe, united in diversity”, he concluded.