European social dialogue refers to discussions, consultations, negotiations and joint actions involving organisations representing the two sides of industry (employers and workers). It takes two main forms:
Financial support is given to transnational projects carried out by social partners and others active in the field of industrial relations through the social dialogue budget lines. It is also provided through the European Social Fund (ESF) for capacity-building of social partner organisations at national level.
The European Commission consults the social partners on the possible direction of an initiative, in a first stage, and on the content of an initiative, in a second stage.