EUPAN & social dialogue

EUPAN is an informal network of the Directors-General responsible for public administration in the member states of the European Union and the European Commission.

Since SAGE joined the network in 1995, EUPAN has grown both in size and scope. SAGE participates in the network together with the Ministry of Finance and the Agency for Public Management, with the main responsibilities in Human Resources- and employer issues.

The main meeting in the network is the meeting of Directors General which is held by the end of each Presidency. During this meeting Directors General approve the previous months of work and take strategic decisions on EUPAN's future priorities. EUPAN working groups meet each presidency to elaborate reports and studies of interest to the DG-meeting. The working groups are also important arenas for knowledge sharing and exchange of information between delegates from the national administrations. Currently there are three permanent working groups: Human Resources Working Group (HRWG), Innovative Public Services Group (IPSG) and the e-Government Working Group (e-Gov).

Informal social dialogue has been part of the EUPAN network since the early 1990's in the form of meetings of the EUPAN Directors General with representatives of the European federation of trade unions.

The issue of strengthening the European social dialogue for central government administrations accelerated in 2007 with a ministerial resolution under the German Presidency. This resolution encouraged EUPAN to test, within an enhanced informal social dialogue, topics and work forms of a formal social dialogue.

During the 2007 Portuguese Presidency EUPAN agreed upon the forms for a test phase of an enhanced informal dialogue, introducing the elements of a formal sectoral dialogue. The design of the social relations were jointly put down by EUPAN and trade union representatives, TUNED, including the establishment of rules of procedure and a work program for 2008-2009.

The test phase of the enhanced informal social dialogue ran for two years and started on the 1st of January 2008. Work forms and operational structures were carried out within the existing structure of EUPAN, with some adjustment comparable to a sectoral committee. This design however differed from a formal sectoral committee as the test phase was undertaken on an informal level. This meant that within the enhanced informal dialogue social partners' could not influence Commission directives or reach formal agreements for implementation at local level.

The test phase ended by the 31st December 2009 and was substituted by a continued informal social dialogue between EUPAN and TUNED.