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Local and regional government

Workers’ representatives

European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) (1974)


Employers’ representatives

Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) (1951)


Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC)

Informal working group:



13 January 2004

Rules of procedure:

13 January 2004

Work programme:

2004-2005; 2006-2007; 2008-2010

General overview

The main purpose of local and regional government is to manage and deliver public services to the communities they serve. These local services include for example transport, refuse collection, water distribution and street lighting, but also education, leisure services, social welfare, healthcare, policing, fire-fighting, etc. Although these authorities differ considerably from one country to another, they are all confronted by the same challenges: globalisation, the opening-up of public procurement and enhanced competition, budgetary constraints, demographic change, growing mobility, and so on.

Participants and challenges

Social dialogue in this sector began in 1996, and the Comité du dialogue social sectorielSectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) was formally constituted in 2004. It brings together the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) for the workers, and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) for the employers. Two concerns were uppermost at the outset: modernising public services, and the role of local development in combating unemployment. The issue of developing a European approach to promoting services of general interest came to the fore later on.


The joint texts adopted in this sector reflect a shared desire to defend the specific nature of the public services delivered by local and regional authorities, especially in the face of European liberalisation and competition policies.

Joint texts

The “local and regional government” sectoral social dialogue has resulted, since 1996, in the adoption of 17 joint texts.

ETUI and Observatoire Social Européen (2010) European Sectoral Social Dialogue Factsheets. Project coordinated by Christophe Degryse, online publication available at www.worker-participation.eu/EU-Social-Dialogue/Sectoral-ESD