Insurance Europe has today published its response to a consultation conducted by the European Commission on its review of EU sectorial social dialogue, which is an important instrument to achieve sustainable economic development and to build resilience in the EU.
The Insurance Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (ISSDC) — of which Insurance Europe is an active member — has enabled social partners to address several issues of key relevance to employers and employees in the insurance sector, such as digitalisation, artificial intelligence and COVID-19.
European sectoral social dialogue will need to continue to play a strong role in the future. To facilitate this, the Commission should:
- Improve the visibility and accessibility of sectoral social dialogue deliverables — Specifically, the Commission should facilitate access to translation resources and improve the visibility of SSDC outcomes on its dedicated websites. The Commission and national authorities should also substantially increase the visibility they give to the joint outcomes of sectoral social dialogue.
- Ensure that sectorial social dialogue has appropriate resources — Budgets for sectoral social dialogue are being reduced and the administrative work to organise European social dialogue activities has been increasingly moved from the Commission to the social partners.
- Facilitate coordination between sectorial social dialogue committees — Regular exchanges across sectors on common issues could benefit all social partners and could contribute towards increasing the weight given to the outcomes of social dialogue committees. The Commission should therefore further facilitate such cooperation while ensuring the role and the autonomy of the individual sectoral social dialogues.
- Raise the profile of social dialogue within the EU and increase awareness of its importance — Insurance Europe believes that sectorial social partners should have greater involvement in the European Semester.
- Improve the consultation of social partners on new Commission initiatives — Insurance Europe welcomes the proposal made by the special advisor to Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, Andrea Nahles, to appoint a social dialogue coordinator in each directorate-general. This would ensure a more consistent approach to the consultation of social partners throughout Commission departments.
- Support capacity building to benefit national social partners — The capacities of national social partners vary substantially across Europe. The EU should step up its financial support for capacity building and call on national governments to make better use of the available funding.