Europäischer Sozialpartner-Dialog

Errichtung des formalen Ausschusses für den sektoralen sozialen Dialog

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Joint Declaration on the establishment of a formalized Sector Dialogue Committee for the European Chemical Industry

European Chemical Employers Group (ECEG) and the
European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers Federation (EMCEF),

having in mind that the European Chemical Industry

  • ranks 1St by size in the world,
  • is the second largest industrial sector in Europe,
  • employs 2 million people directly in Europe and an even larger number of employees are dependent on the chemical industry indirectly,
  • is composed as well of large multinational companies as of many successful small and medium sized entities,
  • has a positive trade balance, playing a key role for the export position of the European Economy as a whole,
  • contributes with its innovations and activities to the success of many other sectors and the European Economy as a whole,
  • is one of the sectors that continuously develops voluntary commitments in order to promote continuous improvements in health, safety and environment;

and taking into account

the common declaration of EMCEF and ECEG on 4th December 2002 to start a voluntary permanent dialogue between the social partners in the European Chemical Industry in order to contribute to the creation of a favourable climate for the competitiveness of the sector and the employment in the industry and in order to develop the social dimension of Europe;


are happy to announce their joint request to establish a formalized Sector Dialogue Committee for the European Chemical Industry in accordance with the ,EU Commission decision of 20th May 1998 on the establishment of Sectoral Dialogue Committees promoting the Dialogue between the social partners at European level".

ECEG and EMCEF point out that the Chemical industry is one of the first major industrial sectors in Europe to eventually start a formalized Social Partner Dialogue. They see this step as being of great importance for the development of the Dialogue between the Social Partners in Europe generally and expect the European Commission will share this view.


Furthermore the European Social Partners of the Chemical Industry see the creation of the formalized Sector Dialogue Committee as an important chance for the further development of the competitiveness of the sector and of its employment in Europe. That step opens as well a possibility for further improvement of the European industrial policy, especially towards the Chemical Industry - with an even stronger involvement of the industry and its employees. This strengthened involvement will provide a broader information base for the European Commission and other European Institutions through a closer consultation process and will result in a better governance, which will in turn help the competitiveness of the Chemical Industry and its employment. 


The Social Partner Dialogue between ECEG and EMCEF will not be limited to social affairs subjects, but will - whenever appropriate with close involvement of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and other relevant institutions and associations of the industry - focus as well on business issues, general economic conditions, environmental and other questions. Such a broad approach, which takes into account all conditions and frameworks under which the companies of the sector operate in Europe can bring a real added value to these companies, their employees and the European economy as a whole. Thereby it will contribute to a successful implementation of the Lisbon agenda and the aim to make Europe the world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. The Social Partners of the Chemical Industry therefore ask the European Commission to welcome this strategy and to support them wherever possible, e.g. by consultations on new projects or legislative actions or by facilitating meetings between the representatives of the industry and its employees and the relevant services within the European Commission and other European Institutions on all these subjects.


The Social Partner Dialogue itself will remain fully in the hand of the Social Partners of the industry. The organizational and general political autonomy of ECEG and EMCEF will remain unchanged by starting the formalized Sectoral Dialogue Committee. The agenda of the Dialogue will be set autonomously by ECEG and EMCEF in mutual consent and an involvement of European institutions into the Dialogue will only take place, if both Social Partners agree on it.


EMCEF and ECEG jointly see the main aim of the Dialogue in evaluating and supporting a common understanding and a consensus in areas of common interest of the Social Partners and specifically related to the Chemical Industry and its employees. It will intend to achieve common points of view and common understanding - objectives and results of the Social Partner Dialogue need therefore always to be agreed and accepted by both Social Partners.


The Dialogue between ECEG and EMCEF will focus on subjects, which are traditionally not covered by national collective bargaining, e.g. vocational training or health and safety issues. It will not interfere with the existing national collective bargaining procedures within the European Chemical Industry. Instruments of the Social Partner Dialogue therefore can be, amongst others, the

  • exchange of information and experiences,
  • coordinated information of the members, i.e. the national Social Partners,
  • joint texts.

ECEG and EMCEF are interested to create a positive effect on the national Social Partner relations and for the industry and its employees through the results of the European Social Partner Dialogue; however, the Dialogue will neither result in direct obligations for companies nor employees of the sector.


The Social Partner Dialogue will be practically organized through plenary meetings within the Sector Dialogue Committee; yearly conferences organized by ECEG and EMCEF; regular high-level meetings involving the Presidents and the Bureaus of the two organizations and joint working groups to work on specific issues of common interest.

Bruxelles, September 2004