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Press release -

Social dialogue as a driver in shaping and improving employment and working conditions in the EU

Although there are signs of recovery from the crisis, European labour markets and social conditions remain challenging. In the first phase of the crisis, social dialogue showed resilience. However, as the crisis progressed there has been evidence of weakening social dialogue and an exacerbation of trends such as the decrease in the number of agreements and a fall in union membership.

In cooperation with the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Eurofound is organising a high-level conference Social Dialogue as a driver in shaping and improving employment and working conditions in the EU in Athens on Monday 23 June 2014. This one-day conference will bring together around 100 participants, including representatives of government ministries, national and European social partner organisations, the European Commission, international organisations, as well as experts and members of the academic world.

Date: Monday 23 June 2014

Time: 09.30 – 17.45

Venue: Zappeion Exhibition Hall, Room 5, Ethnikos Athens 105 57

The event will seek to draw lessons from the crisis and look to the future of social dialogue and its impact on employment and working conditions in the EU. The event will be an important forum for participants to hear about the challenges partners in different Member States have faced and to look at the way they have tackled various issues such as unemployment - particularly, youth unemployment - the vulnerability of low-skilled workers and social exclusion.

Taking place directly after the Employment and Social Affairs Council of Ministers meeting (EPSCO 19-20 June) from which Minister Vroutsis will bring fresh conclusions, the timing of the conference provides participants with the opportunity to examine key questions about the way EU-level social dialogue can support and strengthen national-level structures and the new roles for the national and EU-level social partners. It will also be a chance to learn from countries that have managed to combine effective social dialogue and partnership with strong economic performance.

Three interesting pointers: 

1. Keynote speakers:

·  Ioannis Vroutsis, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Welfare, Greece

·  Nobel Price winner Sir Christopher Pissarides, Regius Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Professor of European Studies, University of Cyprus.

·  Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Director, Eurofound

2. On the path to recovery – the role of social dialogue?

This session will explore the different measures countries have pursued in order to restore their economies and the role of social dialogue. Presentations will focus on the European overview and two different scenarios from Ireland and Portugal.

Chair: Stavroula Demetriades, Senior Programme Manager, Eurofound

·  Christian Welz, Senior Programme Manager, Eurofound

·  Manuel Marcelino Perata da Pena Costa, Vice-President, Confederation of

·  Portuguese Commerce and Services

·  Liam Kelly, Head of Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue Policy, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ireland

3. On the path to recovery – social dialogue and the Greek experience

On the path to recovery and addressing the challenges of a changing world of work and the demands for growth, development and prosperity, this session will examine the  role social dialogue can play in Greece and how social dialogue is part of the solution.

Chair: Konstantinos Papadakis, Senior Liaison Office for Cyprus and Greece,

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

·  Dimitris Daskalopoulos, President, Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, (SEV)

·  Giorgos Kavathas, President, Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen,

and Merchants (GSEVEE)

·  Vassilis Korkidis, President, National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE)

·  Andreas Andreadis, President, Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE)

·  Giannis Panagopoulos, President, General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE)

·  Odysseas Drivalas, President, Confederation of Greek Public Servants’ Unions


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The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies. Eurofound was established in 1975 by Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75.  

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Press contacts

Måns Mårtensson

Måns Mårtensson

Press contact Media & Promotion Manager Media relations, marketing and promotion +353-1-204 3124
Cristina Arigho

Cristina Arigho

Communication Manager Eurofound events +353-87-986 12 85

Eurofound, a tripartite European Union Agency, provides knowledge to assist in the development of social, employment and work-related policies

Eurofound (European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions) is a tripartite EU body, whose mission is to provide knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies.

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