1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND
1.1. Legal base
In line with the remarks in the budget of the European Union, budget heading 04 03 01 08 is intended to cover grants for promoting social dialogue at cross-industry and sectoral level in accordance with Article 154 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and for developing European social dialogue in its different dimensions of information exchange, consultation, negotiation and joint action. This call will therefore be used to finance consultations, meetings, negotiations and other actions designed to achieve these objectives and to promote actions outlined in the European Commission's Communication on The European social dialogue, a force for innovation and change (COM(2002)341), the Communication on Partnership for change in an enlarged Europe – Enhancing the contribution of European social dialogue (COM(2004)557) and the Commission Staff Working Document on the Functioning and potential of European sectoral social dialogue (SEC(2010)964).
The measures should help the social partner organisations (representatives of management and labour) to contribute to addressing the overarching EU employment and social policy challenges as laid down in particular in:
The budget heading can be used to finance actions involving representatives of the social partners from the Candidate Countries1. It is also intended to promote equal participation of women and men in the decision-making bodies of both trade unions and employers' organisations. These last two components are cross-cutting.
2. OBJECTIVES – PRIORITIES – EXPECTED RESULTS – ACTIVITIES
2.1. Objectives – Priorities – Expected results
Objectives of this call include measures and initiatives related to the adaptation of social dialogue to changes in employment and work related challenges, such as addressing modernisation of the labour market, job creation and job matching, quality of work, anticipation, preparation and management of change and restructuring, digitalisation of the economy and society, the greening of the economy, flexicurity, skills, (intra-EU) labour mobility, migration, youth employment, health and safety at work, modernisation
of social protection systems, reconciliation of work and family life, gender equality, action in the field of anti-discrimination, active ageing, healthier and longer working lives, active inclusion and decent work.
Projects proposed jointly by employers' and workers' organisations which aim at implementing (parts of) the work programme of European social dialogue committees, as well as measures to foster the implementation of European social dialogue outcomes, reinforce their impact and visibility, and support follow-up and reporting are a high priority.
Strengthening synergies and exchanges between European sectoral social dialogue committees and/or between the sectoral committees and the cross-industry level, including through projects developing a multi-sectoral approach on themes of common interest, is also considered a priority.
Actions are expected to contribute to the priorities and activities of European social dialogue, including those that form part of the European Commission's commitment to strengthen social dialogue. In that context, particular emphasis is put on the following objectives:
strengthening the involvement of social partners in the European Semester and enhancing their contribution to EU policy making;
building and reinforcing the capacity of national (cross-industry and/or sectoral) social partners to engage in national social dialogue and to participate in and contribute to European social dialogue, in particular in those Member States where social dialogue is underdeveloped2.
Measures which contribute to addressing the employment and social and economic dimensions of EU priorities relating to the recovery from the crisis, taking into account the need for social convergence between Member States, and to reaching the objectives and targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy and its flagship initiatives, will also be particularly welcome.
The same goes for measures to support the European social partners and social dialogue committees in their contribution to impact assessment of the employment and social dimensions of EU initiatives.
Applications will be examined and selected taking account of the remarks in the EU budget, the criteria laid down in this document and the principle of balanced support.
Access for people with disabilities should be guaranteed for measures funded under this call for proposals.
2.2. Type of activities to be funded
The following categories of actions are targeted:
measures to prepare European social dialogue, such as preparatory surveys, meetings and conferences;
measures regarded as part of social dialogue within the meaning of Articles 154 and 155 TFEU, such as negotiations, preparatory meetings for negotiations or activities relating to the implementation of negotiated agreements and other negotiated outcomes;
measures to implement the European social partners' work programmes (such as the organisation of round tables, exchanges of experience and networks of key actors);
measures to disseminate, promote, monitor and evaluate European social dialogue activities and outcomes, e.g. through European or national events, peer learning or reviews, studies and (paper or electronic) publications (including the translation);
measures to improve the coordination, functioning and effectiveness of European social dialogue, including through the identification and development of joint approaches by the social dialogue committees, such as the exchange of good practice and related joint training events;
measures to strengthen the capacity of social partners to contribute to European social dialogue with particular attention to Central and Eastern European Member States and Candidate Countries3, e.g. through information and training seminars aiming at developing legal expertise or organisational/administrative skills, or at expanding membership and representativeness;
measures to further develop and strengthen the membership of European social partner organisations;
measures by social partners which contribute to the process of strengthening social dialogue initiated by the European Commission, with regard in particular to the involvement of social partners in the European Semester and their contribution to EU policy making;
measures by social partners which contribute to the employment and social and economic dimensions of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the monitoring and analysis of its impact on labour markets;
measures to support the contributions that European social partners and social dialogue committees provide to impact assessment of the employment and social dimensions of EU initiatives.
Measures that aim mainly at improving expertise in the field of industrial relations through analysis and research and by promoting the exchange of information and experience among relevant actors, are not covered by this call for proposals. This type of actions will be funded under a separate call for proposals.
2.3. Other elements to be taken into account
When drafting the proposal, applicants are invited to pay particular attention to the following elements:
The proposal should provide a clear explanation of the rationale and problem definition/analysis underpinning the proposed action, as well as the specific contribution of the action to the objectives of the call for proposals and its expected impact.
In case of recurrent applications by the same applicant on similar or related topics, the added value of the new project proposal as compared to ongoing and previous actions4 should be clearly explained.
The choice of organisations involved and countries covered should be duly explained and justified as regards their relevance towards the specific objectives of the action.
Taking account of beneficiaries' interest, the Commission may organise a networking day in Brussels for beneficiaries under the 2016 call (date to be defined). Applicants must therefore ensure that the travel, daily subsistence allowances and accommodation costs for up to 2 persons – the Project Manager and possibly the Financial Manager – to attend this meeting are included in their proposed project budget. If the applicant fails to do this, the Commission will not be able to fund the beneficiary's participation in the networking day.