European social dialogue - The history of a social innovation

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The Workers' Group is organizing a cultural event for the presentation of a book by Jean Lapeyre, former ETUC Deputy General Secretary, entitled "Le dialogue social européen - Histoire d'une innovation sociale (1985-2003)" (The European social dialogue - History of a social innovation).

Jean Lapeyre will present the book in person.

The book explores the history of the European social dialogue from 1985 to 2003 – from its genesis to its autonomy. This exploration is achieved through documentation as well as interviews with various primary actors who conceived, participated and developed the European Social Dialogue – trade unionists, employers and European actors. It is not a peaceful history. It has some conflicts and failures. However, the European social dialogue also has a strong deep rooted European conscience, it understands what can bring tangible benefits for citizens. The European social dialogue is also one of the best ways to achieve the European fundamental values: social progress and solidarity, cohesion and democracy, sustainable development.  

The presentation will be followed by a debate with the participation of numerous trade union leaders. The purpose is to reflect on the future challenges and new perspectives for social dialogue in the EU based on the lessons learnt from the past. To take us through a journey in history we have invited among others Philippe de Buck, member of the Employers' Group and former Director General of BusinessEurope, John Monks, former ETUC General Secretary, and Georges Dassis, EESC President.

A discussion will follow on the future of social dialogue as a key instrument for social innovation. Contributions are expected by Cándido Méndez, former General Secretary of the UGT and former ETUC President, Luc Triangle, IndustriAll General Secretary, Marie-Hélène Ska, CSC General Secretary, Peter Scherrer, ETUC Deputy General Secretary, Gabriele Bischoff, President of the Workers' Group, and others.