Articles 154 and 155 of the European Treaty (TFEU) enable the social partners organised at the European level to become part of the EU lawmaking system and one of the four pillars of the EU Social Policy.
The European Social Policy
The Treaty says that a) the European Social partners have to be consulted on any initiative potentially affecting their activities and b) the European Social Partners can conduct their own social dialogue at the EU level, delivering various outcomes, from joint opinions to agreements leading to legislative measures. At the European sectoral level, 40 Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees were created between 1998 and 2010, covering 145M workers and 6M undertakings. The sectoral European Social Dialogue plays an important role in shaping the social dimension of the EU, delivering more than 200 joint texts. The latest notable outcomes from the European Sectoral Social Dialogue are the Sectoral Agreements on Maritime Labour Convention (2008), on Preventing Injuries from use of sharps in the Health Care Sector (2009) and the Multi-Sectoral Agreement on Crystalline Silica (2006).