Media advisory

ILO to launch new book on social dialogue trends in the EU

New ILO study highlights emerging trends and good practices in social dialogue based on case studies in eleven EU Member States.

Media advisory | 27 March 2017
BRUSSELS (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) is to launch a new publication, in cooperation with the European Commission, entitled Talking through the crisis: Social dialogue and industrial relations trends in selected EU countries, on Thursday 30 March.

The volume highlights emerging trends and good practices in social dialogue, and brings together country case studies in eleven EU Member States: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. Speakers from the ILO, the European Commission and the European social partners will discuss the main findings of the study.

Although social dialogue between governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations helped to shape the initial policy responses at the start of the crisis in 2008, it came under significant stress as economic conditions deteriorated. In some countries, tripartite dialogue weakened or even collapsed. An important finding is that a return to economic growth has, in most instances, been accompanied by at least a partial recovery of tripartite social dialogue, but not in all.

Where strong national social dialogue institutions existed, these facilitated discussions and negotiations between the social partners and the government on the labour market reforms needed to bring about a return to positive growth, and enabled a rebuilding of the trust that had been eroded during the tough crisis years.

Interestingly, bipartite dialogue between employers’ and workers’ organizations compensated for deficits in tripartite dialogue in some countries, resulting in collective agreements that introduced improvements to working conditions. Additionally, the book highlights the potential of the European Semester for the active engagement of the social partners in national policy processes, a potential which is still to be fully realized.

Journalists are invited to attend the book launch on 30 March from 10:00 to 12:40 at the European Parliament, Room JAN 6Q1.

To register, please click here. To schedule an interview with an expert of the ILO or one of the authors of the report, please contact Fleur Rondelez, Press Officer:, +32 (0)2 737 93 87.