National meeting in Germany on 23rd February
In Germany, the third phase of PESSIS “Promoting employers’ social services organisations in social dialogue” was launched by AWO (Arbeiterwohlfahrt Bundesverband) in Berlin on 23rd February. The national kick-off meeting gathered relevant German employers of social services organisations, trade union representatives and IAT (Institut Arbeit und Technik).
The meeting aimed at fostering a better understanding of the added value of European Social Dialogue for the social services sector and setting the basis for the participation of the present stakeholders in third phase of the PESSIS project.
The initial presentation by EPSU outlined the scopes and the structure of a sectoral Social Dialogue at European level. Possible outcomes were highlighted by giving insight into the sectoral Social Dialogue for the hospital sector. As a result of the following discussion, the participants confirmed the opportunities of a European Social Dialog for the social services sector (e.g. shaping European social policies and finding solutions for the sectors’ common problems). They also stretched the need to overcome the fragmentation, which is characteristic of the German social services sector, as a basis for further steps within the PESSIS III project.The national employers’ platform – founded in November 2015 as a result of a process launched within the PESSIS II project – can be seen as a first step in this direction. The members of the platform, all present at the kick-off meeting in Berlin, introduced the outlines of the memorandum of understanding of the platform and emphasised its common ground: the major problems, that the sector will have to encounter in the future at national level, can be solved only with common efforts. In this regard the launching process of a European Social Dialogue is perceived as an impulse for the sector to identify common interests.
At the meeting AWO gave an overview of activities and results realised within the two previous PESSIS projects. The objectives, activities and planned outcomes of PESSIS III were presented by SOLIDAR. The initial reflection on political issues related to the social services sector prepared participants for the first European employers meeting in Brussels that will gather social services organisations from Austria, Belgium and France.
More information about AWO, please visit their website