Magazine article European Social Policy

Harassment at Work : Social Agreement Submitted to Meps and Member States

Magazine article European Social Policy

Harassment at Work : Social Agreement Submitted to Meps and Member States

Article excerpt

The European Commission has submitted to the European Parliament and Council the framework agreement on harassment and violence in the workplace, which was concluded on 26 April by union and employer representatives at the European level. This is the third autonomous agreement that is signed at the interprofessional level, following a consultation organised by the Commission, involving the social partners in the legislative process in accordance with Article 138 of the EC Treaty.

The submission of this agreement should not - unlike previous agreements - result in a directive. The social partners have chosen, in accordance with Article 139(2) of the Treaty, to apply it autonomously, ie via their national organisations and according to their specific rules and procedures, which can vary from one member state to another.

However, the submission was needed for three reasons:

First, the agreement must be found to be consistent with EU regulations and formal conditions set out in the Treaty.

Second, the inter-institutional dialogue should be respected: thus the Commission pledged to publish the autonomous agreements and to inform the Parliament and the Council. Furthermore, it encourages these institutions to promote the agreement "by adequately advertising it and supporting its application at the national level".

Last but not least, it means that there will be good quality translations in the different languages of the Union. To recall, this agreement was drafted in English. The translations, reviewed by linguists and translators, endow the social partners with a consolidated' version, thereby avoiding the linguistic discrepancies that marred previous negotiations.

POSITIVE EVALUATION

At the time of this formal transmission of the text, the Commission went on to evaluate the agreement, both in terms of how the signatory parties were represented and in terms of the document's content. …

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