National social pacts
REPORT BY JEAN-LOUIS ARNAUD
REPORT BY JACQUES DELORS
Our research and policy unit, in cooperation with the European Trade Union Institute held its fourth seminar on June 10, 1998, on a very sensitive subject given the current situation marked by the return of growth but also of persistent under-employment and the need to adapt our social model. About thirty personalities, including employers, trade unionists, academics and politicians, came together to discuss the emergence of national social pacts as a new element in industrial relations at the European level.
What conclusions can be drawn from the various social pacts in Europe ? What are the prospects for this type of tripartite agreement, including at the European level, as an instrument to fight unemployment and renovate the Welfare State ? What should be the responsibilities of the different parties - the State, employers and trade unions - for ensuring success ? These were the main questions posed. This summarised report of the discussions is a contribution to a debate that is worth continuing since it is key for the future of employment in Europe and also of our social model, whose reform (respecting certain fundamental values) is a prerequisite condition of its survival.