Barcelona process: Euro-mediterranean conference on employment and work highlighted importance of social dialogue
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and its Euromed Trade Union Forum participated in the first Euro-Mediterranean ministerial conference on employment and work in Marrakech, Morocco, on 9-10 November 2008. ETUC welcomed the adoption of a framework of action, which takes into account the social dimension of the Euro-Mediterranean project and which provides for the creation of a Euromed social dialogue forum.
The social partners together with a Euromed Trade Union Forum delegation, representing trade unions from the EU and the southern partner countries, were consulted before the conference went underway.
In conclusion, the conference emphasised the key role social dialogue will have to play in managing social-economic change in the Euro-Mediterranean region. To this end, it was decided to establish a specific consultative structure for the social partners. Moreover, the concept of a Union for the Mediterranean was defined at the conference.
ETUC Deputy General Secretary Maria Helena André and the trade union forum representative Mustapha Tlili declared that ‘this conference represents a unique opportunity to define a true social dimension based on an integrated approach, which includes the economy, employment and social cohesion. Adopting a framework of action represents an important challenge due to the fact that it tackles issues such as the participation of women in the workplace, non-discrimination, integration of youth, the transfer from informal jobs to regular employment and migration. In this context, the cooperation with social partners in the Euro-Mediterranean region is crucial’.
Ms André further added: ’For the first time since the process of Barcelona has started, there is scope for a sustainable and coherent social policy. ETUC and its Euromed Trade Union Forum will do their best to use the “Social dialogue forum” as a driving factor’.
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