Civic Dialogue at National Level
Civic Dialogue at National Level
What are the institutions of civic dialogue?
Civic dialogue was institutionalized by changing the Economic and Social Council from a social dialogue body into a civic dialogue body. After the enacting of 248/2013 Law regarding the organization and functioning of the Economic and Social Council, ESC changed from a tripartite structure of social dialogue at national level (composed of representatives of trade unions and employers’ federations and the government) into a structure for civic dialogue (among the representatives of the civil society), similar to the European Economic and Social Committee. Thus, the organizations of the organized civil society participate, along with the social partners (trade unions and employer organizations), to the consultation process within the ESC.
What is the Economic and Social Council?
Economic and Social Council is a public institution of national interest, tripartite and autonomous, created with the purpose of achieving tripartite dialogue at national level among employers and trade union organizations and NGO’s representatives. ESC is a consultative body of the Romanian Parliament and Government in the areas of expertise designated by law (248/2013 Law).
Who is a member of Economic and Social Council?
According to art. 11 of 248/2013 Law, modified by 222/2015 Law, ESC is composed of 45 members, designated as follows:
- 15 members nominated by the employers’ confederations representative at national level;
- 15 members nominated by the trade union confederations representative at national level;
- 15 members representing associative structures of the civil society, appointed by decision of the Prime Minister, on the proposal of Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and Elderly. The civil society representatives shall be proposed for nomination, according to the model of the European Economic and Social Committee, from among the following structures of civil society: human rights organizations, including women’s, youth’s, and children’s rights organizations; resource centers’ organizations; healthcare organizations and organizations for the disabled; organizations for social services and eradication of poverty; environmental organizations and organizations for the rural area; academic and professional associations and for consumer protection; social economy organizations; cooperative organizations of the liberal professions; farmers’ organizations; pensioners’ organizations; local community organizations and other non-governmental organizations with activities falling under the scope of competence of the Economic and Social Council.
This means that the law promotes a differentiated treatment for trade unions and employers’ organizations, on the one hand, and for the organizations of civil society, on the other. While recognizing the right of trade unions and employers’ organizations to appoint representatives in the Economic and Social Council from among the organizations representative at national level, the law provides an administrative procedure of appointing the representatives of the civil society by the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection, and Elderly.
Until august 2015, the representatives of the civil society were not validated by the plenum of ESC and did not participate to its activities.
What are the fields of competence of the Economic and Social Council?
According to the law, the fields of specialty of the ESC are:
a) economic policies;
b) financial and fiscal policies;
c) labor relations, social protection, wage policy, and equality of opportunities and treatment;
d) agriculture, rural development, environment, and sustainable development;
e) consumer protection and fair competition;
f) cooperatives, liberal professions, and independent activities;
g) civil rights and freedoms;
h) healthcare policies;
i) education, youth, research, culture, and sports policies.
If ESC takes notice on its own or is notified by any public authority or trade union and employers’ organization representative at national level, also by representatives of the civil society about certain socioeconomic state of affairs, evolutions or events, it will issue points of view and recommendations, communicating them to the authorities, institutions or trade unions, employers’ or civil society organizations that have attributions, competences or interests in that area.
Which are the attributions of the Economic and Social Council?
The Economic and Social Council has the following attributions:
- issues opinions on draft regulations proposed by the Government in the foregoing fields of competence, also on legislative proposals of deputies and senators, by inviting the initiators to debate those regulations;
- drafts, at the request of the Government, the Parliament or on its own initiative, analyses and studies regarding economic and social issues;
- informs the Government or the Parliament on the emergence of economic and social phenomena that call for new regulations.