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Workers’ representatives

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


Employers’ representatives

European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association (HOSPEEM) (2005)


Representativity study: Traxler, F. (2009), Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Hospitals, EIRO, Dublin, May 2009 http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/studies/tn0802017s/tn0802017s.htm

Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC)

Informal working group:



20 September 2006 (33rd committee)

Rules of procedure:

20 September 2006 (draft)

Work programme:


2006-2007; 2008-2010


(no longer active)

General overview

Although the hospital sector in Europe is highly diverse (from small local units to major regional or national hospitals), it faces a number of similar trends and issues: a reduction in bed numbers and the search for alternatives to full hospitalisation, funding problems, health challenges, etc.

Participants and challenges

European social dialogue in the hospital sector is still very new: the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) was not established until 2006. It involves the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) for the workers, and the European Hospital and Healthcare Employers Association (HOSPEEM) for the employers. The main topics of discussion for the time being are staff recruitment, workforce profiling and new skills. A code of conduct on ethical cross-border recruitment and retention in the hospital sector was adopted in 2008: it is regarded as one of the major achievements of this social dialogue.


The single market and freedom of movement have caused the social partners in the European hospital sector to fear the onset of social dumping practices. Crucial to social dialogue in this sector, therefore, is the upholding of European social values: solidarity, social justice and social cohesion.

Joint texts

The “hospitals” sectoral social dialogue has resulted, since 2000, in the adoption of 7 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