EU: EPSU VS European Commission

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The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) is to take the European Commission to the European Union General Court on 15 May 2018 for failing to implement a Social Partners’ agreement by legislation.


The agreement concerns information and consultation rights for workers in central government who have been excluded from consultation rights under the Information and Consultation Directive and in relation to business transfers and collective redundancies.

In March 2015, the European Commission heralded the new start for social dialogue as President Junker announced new processes to involve social partners in EU policy and law making.

Following a consultation by the Commission, EPSU, along with the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI) and the EUPAE employers’ organisation, signed an agreement on 21 December 2015. The agreement aims to provide information and consultation rights to almost 10 million workers in central government across the European Union on matters of direct concern to them such as restructuring, collective redundancies, working time, health and safety or work/life balance.

However, on 5 March 2018, the Commission communicated that it would not make a proposal for a Directive to the European Council, arguing that it has the facility to determine whether a proposal for a Directive should go forward.

EPSU believes that the Commission has acted with ‘flagrant disregard’ for the autonomy of the social partners protected by the EU Treaties and will be fighting the decision in court.

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of EPSU said: “Four months after the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, the Commission has undermined its own commitment to social dialogue and information and consultation rights”. He adds: “The European Pillar of Social Rights presents a great opportunity to re-launch Social Europe, and the Commission, in refusing to put forward a proposal for a Directive, has done the exact opposite.”

After months of delaying tactics, the Commission has reached an unfounded and unprecedented decision. This is a double attack: it denies equal treatment of workers and therefore discriminates against workers in central government; and second it undermines social partners’ co-decision rights as provided for in the European Union treaties.

For more information contact Pablo Sanchez 0032 (0) 474 62 66 33