Open letter from the European Sectoral Social Partners to Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis &  Commissioner Nicolas Schmit European Commission regarding the Review of the rules on the financing of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees.
Dear Vice- President Dombrovskis,
Dear Commissioner Schmit,
We have read with great interest the Communication on Strengthening social dialogue in the
European Union : harnessing its full potential for managing fair transitions published by the
European Commission on 25 January 2023. If we appreciate the fact that it does take into account
some of our concerns expressed during the many hearings and consultations organised by your
services throughout 2022, it does not propose any solution as regards the future organisation and
financing of Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees (SSDCs).
The Communication is not only recognising that social dialogue is a priority for the EU Commission,
it is also stressing that it has never been so crucial in shaping and delivering fair transitions and crisis
management. We therefore expect the Commission to maintain both its logistical and financial
support for sectoral social dialogue committees and to enhance its political support.
Furthermore, we have serious concerns about alternative approaches on the organisation of
Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees, notably the idea of multi-annual “project based” financing,
which could endanger both the autonomy of the social partners and their capacity to come up with
meaningful outcomes. The lack of security and predictability of financing could also threaten the
existence of some SSDCs.
Against this background, with this letter, the undersigned EU sectoral social partners would like to
reiterate their views on the future of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue, and more specifically
as regards the modalities of the social dialogue committee meetings.
While we understand the existing financial constraints under which the European Commission
operates, we strongly urge the Commission to come up with new proposals that fully respect social
partners’ autonomy and avoid a severe devaluation of European sectoral social dialogue.

This implies that any proposal should avoid project-based financing as :
• It represents, especially for the smallest organisations, a huge administrative burden, and in
the long-run the end of social dialogue. Our social dialogue should focus on the content and
not on organisational matters.
• It represents an extremely rigid and uncertain framework (there is only one call for
submission per year and it takes six to seven months at least before knowing whether a
project has been approved or not), which does not allow the social partners to adapt their
initiatives to a fast changing environment and to define an efficient planning of their work
• It could imply an allocation of funds based on the foreseen outcome of the social dialogue
leading to less autonomy of the social partners.

In addition, we would like to know whether all the Commission-backed experts’ groups are to be
subject to the same re-organisation. As social partners, it is reminded that we are deemed experts
in our respective sectors. We would therefore find it extremely difficult to understand if a
differentiated treatment would apply to these expert groups.
Finally, on various occasions during the informal consultation on the review of social dialogue, the
Commission has said that it will keep the responsibility for the logistics and funding of negotiation
meetings; we would like the Commission to confirm this.
If social dialogue is a political priority of the European Commission, there is an urgent need to ensure
that the necessary financial and political support is made available to the sectoral social partners
without increasing the burden on them.
Yours sincerely,
For the European employers’ organisations
Sarah Goddard
Secretary General
Dominique Sizes
Delphine Rudelli
Director General
Silvia Melegari
Secretary General
Fabrizio Rossi
Secretary General
Catherine Piana
Director General
Nina Schindler
Chief Executive Officer
EBF – Banking Committee for
European Social Affairs
Jens Thau
Emma Argutyan
General Secretary
Sotiris Raptis
Secretary General
Matteo Matarazzo
Director General
Daniel Wisniewski
General Secretary
Kristian Ruby
General Secretary
Christel Delberghe
Director General
Rolf Kuby
Director General
Domenico Campogrande
Director General
Joseph Lechner
Marie Audren
Director General
Insurance Europe
Sebastian Hopfner
Chairman, Social Dialogue
Raluca Marian
Director EU Advocacy & General
Delegate of IRU to the EU
Pearle* – Live Performance
Anita Debaere
UITP Europe
Thomas Avanzata
Spokesperson of the European Union Committee
World Employment Confederation-Europe
Denis Pennel
Managing Director
For the European trade unions’ organisations
European Arts & Entertainment
Alliance Benoît Machuel
General Secretary
Tom Deleu
General Secretary
Kristjan Bragason
General Secretary
Jan Willem Goudriaan
General Secretary
Livia Spera
General Secretary
Susan Flocken
European Director
Nigel Dennis
Head of Office
IndustriAll Europe
Luc Triangle
General Secretary
UNI Europa
Oliver Roethig
Regional Secretary