The European social dialogue, both between economic sectors and within our sector, is a key element of the European Social Model. It is the essential means by which employers and employees contribute to the governance of the European Union and the definition of European social standards.
The European electricity sector is at an unprecedented crossroads. The transition towards a low-carbon economy implies a complete transformation of our sector, strongly affecting skills and job needs and requiring massive power investments in generation capacity and infrastructures. In this context, we strongly believe that social dialogue at company, national and European level has a key role to play in anticipating those changes and allowing for a smooth transition of our sector.
That is why we, together with the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), already initiated a social dialogue process back in 1995. The social dialogue was later joined by EPSU's sister federation EMCEF, the European Mine, Chemical and Energy Workers' Federation.
In 2000, the social dialogue in the electricity sector received formal recognition with the establishment of the European Social Dialogue Committee. As part of this committee, we are consulted on EU policies with social implications. Our work covers a broad range of issues such as health and safety, vocational education and training, restructuring, demographic change, diversity and equal opportunities, adaptation to new technologies and corporate social responsibility.