Last project update :
12 June 2023
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In this part, we have regrouped the European Social Dialogue capacity building activities, together with the project activities of "The European Social Fund: Supporting Social Dialogue at National, Regional and Local Level"

Capacity Building on EU Social Dialogue

In their work programmes, the European social partners take action to assist their respective member organisations to ensure their full involvement in the activities of the European social dialogue. To this end they have organised a series of Integrated Projects, with the objective of strengthening the skills and capacities of national social partner representatives to act on behalf of their members in the European social dialogue. 

The various joint activities undertaken by the European Social Partners include:

One of the central activities during these actions includes inviting representatives of the national social partner organisations to identify priorities for action in order to improve their effective involvement in the EU social dialogue and they individually and jointly developed specific action plans and for future activities. 

Implementation of the EU SD agreements, as well as action plans where applicable, is assessed during and after the seminars. Where possible, national reports have been developed based on joint national seminars, and these can be found below.


Project's Aims

The key aims of this project on ‘The European Social Fund: Supporting Social Dialogue at National, Regional and Local Level’ were, for the European cross-industry social partners, to: 

  • Take stock of the current practice of ESF support to social partner capacity building and the concrete implementation of the Partnership Principle in the governance of the ESF;
  • Identify and review concrete examples of ESF support in this area and the key lessons learnt;
  • Discuss the capacity building needs of national social partner organisations;
  • Make concrete recommendations on how to improve the ESF support in this area after 2020 and – if necessary to enhance the role played by social partners in the governance of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).



The project methodology combined the following aspects:

  • Desk review of literature
  • Survey of national member organisations of cross-industry social partner organisations
  • Survey of MC members of cross-industry social partner organisations
  • Organisation of two project round tables to discuss survey findings and key project questions
  • Organisation of the final conference.


Round tables

Two cluster seminars were held as part of the project, which provided the opportunity to discuss the survey findings and discuss in more detail the involvement of social partners in the governance of the ESF at national level, the level of resources and types of capacity building projects being supported by ESF, as well as their capacity building needs.

The round tables brought together participants from the following countries:

Cluster seminar in Prague, 14-15 September 2017: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Slovakia (as well as a guest speaker from the Swedish trade unions), as well as representatives from the European Commission and the Managing Authority responsible for the Prague Operational Programme.

Cluster seminar in Rome, 4-5 December 2017: Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia with representatives from the European Commission and the Managing Authority responsible for the Operational Programme in Italy (Countries invited but not present were AT and ES).


Final Conference - Brussels, 9th March 2018

The project findings were presented and discussed in the final conference of the project on 9 March 2018, in Brussels, Belgium which was attended by over 60 participants from the social partners from the European, national and regional levels, MAs and the representatives of the European Commission.