ILO highlights the link between inclusive growth and democracy and social dialogue

The ADG of the Governance, Rights and Social Dialogue cluster of the ILO, Manuela Tomei, participates in Spain in the European Tripartite High Level Conference: "Towards a new European social agenda from the perspective of social dialogue".

Noticia | 22 de septiembre de 2023
MADRID (ILO News) - Within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), on 21 September 2023, in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), the Tripartite Conference "Towards a new European social agenda from the perspective of social dialogue" took place, preceding the High Level Event "The future of work and social dialogue", with the participation of the European Commission, Ministers of Labour from different EU Member States, European and Spanish social partners, and the ILO.

General picture of the participants
This event aims to reflect and exchange views on the state and challenges of the world of work, addressing the role of social dialogue in shaping the European social agenda and highlighting the framework of cooperation offered by the EU, inserted in the international context.

During the panel entitled "The European social model in the international context", ILO ADG Manuela Tomei spoke, highlighting how the ILO's tripartite governance model has inspired the European social model and that, in order to further develop this model internally within the EU and to promote these values internationally, social dialogue must continue to be the tool that helps to make this possible.

She therefore called on EU member states to support the work and deliberations on international labour standards within the ILO. "The EU is working on important standards in different areas: working conditions on platforms, due diligence, (...), and this will have an important impact on ILO standards," said Manuela Tomei.

Representatives of EU member states supported the idea that the EU should take into account social standards and not only in terms of GDP growth to face the challenges ahead, looking at ways to make them compatible.

Social agenda of the European Union

The panel on "The future European social agenda" focused on how the response to the crises, challenges and transitions in the world of work is through a more social model and shared prosperity that involves the social partners, puts social dialogue and collective bargaining at the heart of business, taxation, health, inclusion and social protection. It was also stressed that apprenticeships are necessary, as well as transparency to protect workers.

The Second Vice-President of the Spanish Government and Minister for Labour and the Social Economy, during her speech 

Social dialogue

During the third panel, "The role of social dialogue in shaping the European social agenda", the trade union representatives highlighted the role of social dialogue during the pandemic and its function as a tool for the participation of society in governance and how, in view of its complexity, it is necessary to train the social partners properly.

The employers' association expressed the need to guarantee the autonomy of social agents in the face of the problems of the world of work and the need to strengthen business activity. The President of the Spanish Economic and Social Council (CES) insisted that compatibility between social justice and efficiency is only possible through social dialogue.

Social policies

The fourth panel "The European Pillar of Social Rights" served to recognise the shift in the EU towards policies focused on a more social Europe and how these policies have better protected people in the world of work. The impact of social investment on issues such as gender equality was also highlighted.

Finally, the meeting concluded with the words of the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, who underlined how the social dialogue will make the convergence of social and diversity work, considering it necessary, through this dialogue, for there to be a regulatory instrument for wage inequality in the EU.

To conclude, the Vice-President and Minister of Labour of Spain, Yolanda Díaz, highlighted the need for debate in order to have more democracy and more social dialogue in the world of work, underlining the words of Manuela Tomei on how the European social pillar is more necessary today than ever, the ILO and its model being the answer to promote fundamental rights and overcome gender discrimination in countries.

Event "The future of work and social dialogue"

This was followed on 22 September by the high-level event "The future of work and social dialogue", which focused on three main issues: democracy at work, artificial intelligence, algorithms and work, and green collective bargaining. In it, European Commissioner Schmit highlighted the ILO's vision of generative Artificial Intelligence, according to which its effects on work will be positive or negative depending to a large extent on how its diffusion is managed.