Chapter 3: Supporting the autonomous role of the social partners
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The study addresses two questions: firstly, whether existing rules and practices in the EU Member States give the social partners sufficient scope to shape working conditions, and secondly, whether these rules and practices sufficiently support the social partners in fulfilling their tasks. To answer these questions, the existing national, European and international legal frameworks are discussed. The concept of “autonomy of the social partners” is then explored and their relationship to the state, in particular to state legislation, is further defined. Against this background, some mechanisms of social dialogue are examined in more detail: the granting by law of derogation possibilities based on collective agreements, the declaration of general applicability of collective agreements by the state and tripartite arrangements with the participation of the state (as an alternative to collective bargaining).

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