The European Social partners of the construction industry have established one of the first European Social Dialogue Committees. Recently (in 2018) the EFBWW and FIEC agreed on a long-term cooperation agreement. In the first joint commitment, the EFBWW and FIEC agreed “to intensify their collaboration with a view to further strengthen industrial relations in the construction industry at EU-level”. In their second commitment the EFBWW and FIEC engaged themselves to “strengthen and better coordinate joint research of the European social dimension of the construction industry”.
These commitments were made because the European social partners of the construction industry have observed a significant reduction of European Social Dialogue meeting facilities by the European Commission. The number of meetings were reduced from 8 annual meetings (2 plenary meetings, 2 working groups “employment”, 2 working groups “occupational health and safety” and 2 working groups “Vocational and Educational Training”) to 3 working groups: one “employment”, one “occupational health and safety” and one “youth and Vocational and Educational Training”.
The substantial reduction in meeting facilities is in strong contrast to the number of rising challenges for the European construction sector linked to new developments, such as “greening” of the construction industry, digitalisation, labour market developments, etc. The current formal meeting facilities of the EESD committee do not offer the possibilities to discuss these challenges.
The European social partners of the construction industry have decided to apply for an EU-project, which is aimed to reinforce the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee by organising several decentralised thematic discussions which cover the most important upcoming challenges of the European construction labour market.