Chapter 1: Enhancing social partners’ and social dialogue’s roles and capacity in the new world of work: Overview
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The profound change sweeping through the world of work involves four major drivers: technological innovation, demographic shifts, climate change and globalization. It poses serious challenges, but also opens new opportunities for social dialogue and the role of the social partners, together with public authorities, in the governance of the world of work. While social dialogue institutions and mechanisms, including collective bargaining, have long been a feature of European Union (EU) countries, sometimes for decades, questions have been raised about the ability of social dialogue to rise to the new challenges and opportunities, and deliver sustainable socio-economic outcomes. In this introductory chapter we present some of the comparative inputs provided by individual thematic and national chapters in this volume concerning how to enhance the social partners’ role in the new world of work: strengthen representativeness of employers’ and workers organizations and increase their membership; develop the sufficient space for autonomous social dialogue; boost digitalization on the policy agenda of employers’ organizations and trade unions. At the same time, this introductory chapter presents new and unique results from a survey carried out among national social partners about the capacity of their national social dialogue institutions to adjust to the new face of the world of work, and to formulate adequate and innovative responses to the rapid and deep transformations currently unfolding.

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