07/23/2004

"Social Pacts" between Governments and Social Partners

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
published a study on National-level tripartism and EMU in the new EU Member
States and candidate countries.

This comparative study examines the role that national-level "social pacts"
between governments and social partners might play in paving the way for the
new EU Member States and candidate countries to join EU Economic and Monetary
Union (EMU) and introduce the euro single currency. As national-level
tripartite social dialogue is one of the key institutions of industrial
relations in these countries, it may be assumed that some of them will attempt
to adjust their economies through social pacts, just as many 'old' Member
States did in the early 1990s. The study reviews the current development of
tripartite institutions and the established tripartite practices concerning
macroeconomic issues in general, and wage developments in particular, in eight
new Member States that joined the EU in May 2004 (Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and two candidate countries
(Bulgaria and Romania). It finds that only one country, Slovenia, has so far
concluded a social pact in order to facilitate the introduction of measures to
meet the macroeconomic criteria for EMU. Among those countries that can meet
these criteria easily, Cyprus and Malta might produce a form of social pact
over the amendment of their traditional wage indexation systems, if the social
partners opt for such a solution. In the Baltic countries, there does not seem
to be a major need for a specific EMU-related social pact, as regular social
dialogue and trust-based relationships between the parties are thought to
provide the necessary framework for compromises. In some other cases, most
notably the central European countries, a social pact over reform measures is
arguably needed badly owing to current macroeconomic imbalance, but a lack of
political consensus over strategic issues makes it unlikely that governments,
employers' associations and trade unions will reach such comprehensive
national accords.

The comparative study was compiled on the basis of individual national reports
submitted by EIRO's national centres. The text of each of these national
reports is available below in Word format. The reports have not been edited or
approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working
Conditions. The national reports were drawn up in response to a questionnaire
and should be read in conjunction with it.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions