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Sectoral social dialogue - Construction

Social partners

Employees' organisations Employers' organisations
European Federation of Building and Woodworkers European construction Industry Federation

Social dialogue in this sector covers:

  • employment
  • health and safety
  • training and lifelong learning.

In Europe, the construction sector is the biggest industrial employer in the EU. With more than 18.5 million employed, and more than 14 million businesses, it represents around 26% of industrial employment in the EU (7% of total employment).

The globalisation of construction activities is especially important for large civil engineering companies wishing to sell management and planning concepts and managerial and engineering skills. However, manual labour is generally carried out by the local workforce.

Challenges include seasonality and variable demand. Given its dependence on access to credit, the construction sector has been particularly hard hit by the crisis.

Focus areas

The Committee is currently focusing on:

  • impact of the economic crisis
  • strengthening industrial relations
  • internal market
  • attracting young workers
  • health and safety
  • vocational training
  • companies and workers from non-EU countries
  • working towards a sustainable, competitive and climate-friendly construction industry.

Activities and meetings

Check the library entries for this sectoral social dialogue committee.


  • Joint position on the proposal for a directive on Intra-corporate transfers (ICT) (2012)
  • Joint statement on third-country contractors and workers in the EU (2010)
  • Employment and bogus self-employment (2010)
  • The global economic crisis and its consequences for the European construction industry : positive measures and concerns of the European social partners (2010)
  • Joint declaration on paritarian funds (2008)
  • Joint position on the European commission's communication on posting workers within the framework of the provision of services (2007)
  • Joint recommendation on the prevention of work-related stress (2006)

See also "European sectoral social dialogue – recent developments" (2010 brochure).