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Social dialogue

Social dialogue

8 July 2021: Following on from the joint action plan published by the social partners in May (see below), ERA has been active on several fronts with respect to social dialogue activities.

As advised at the Operations Group in May, ERA participated in both the Aircrew Working Group and the Expert Sub-Group on Social Matters relating to Aircrew, on 28 and 29 April.

The aircrew working group agenda included items on the Aviation Round Table report, air services agreements with third countries, state of play on possible revision on 1008/2008. EASA also updated the group on the expected report under Article 89 of the basic regulation. ERA has already participated in an informal discussion with EASA ahead of the draft report being published for consultation later this year.

At the Expert Sub-Group, DG EMPL requested feedback from the social partners on an initial draft paper on oversight. Following consultation with members, ERA submitted a response that was also aligned with our previous response to the Van Olmen and Wynant Paper of February 2020 on the Application of the EU Posting Rules to Aircrew.

The comments received from the partners were discussed during a sub-group plenary session held on 29 June and the final paper was published on 5 July.

During the plenary session, the Commission also highlighted Self-Employment in the Air Transport Sector. ERA has received an ‘in-between’ version ahead of the final draft paper which will be available formal consultation and comment at the end of August.

On 9 June, the Commission held their Liaison Forum. Action plan on social dialogue. Chaired by Jörg Tagger, Head of Social Dialogue Unit, the agenda included a review of the EU Social Dialogue where the social partners were invited to focus on the future in mid and long-term and reflect how social dialogue can best respond to both short term and future challenges, beyond the Covid crisis. The presentation and minutes from the meeting can be found below.

Following the liaison forum, Director-General of DG EMPL, Mr Joost Korte, advised the social partners on a consultation on the practical implementation of Directive 2003/88/EC concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time, as well as a related questionnaire which maybe of interest. This will run for a period of 6 months and members will be consulted in a separate correspondence on the topic.

Finally, on 6 July, the Commission published the 2021 edition of the Employment and Social Developments in Europe (ESDE). This year’s ESDE focusses on the social impact of the COVID-19 crisis including a chapter on the role of social dialogue.

Supporting documentation

Aircrew Working Group
Minutes 29 April

ERA Response to Draft
Final Paper

Self Employment
‘In-between’ Draft Paper

Liaison Forum
Minutes 21 June

Directive 2003/88/EC
Cover letter from DG Korte
Common Format / Questionnaire

Annual Review


19 May 2021: European aviation is a major contributor to the European economy, notably in its regions, and the restart of aviation will re-establish connectivity throughout Europe and revitalise the European economy. 

Additionally, the restart of European aviation will help to secure jobs in the transport, tourism and services sectors (IATA estimates that between 6 and 7 million jobs supported by aviation are at risk because of the pandemic). 

In order to facilitate the smooth resumption of air travel in Europe, the Social Partners have published a four-point action plan:

  1. Facilitate free movement through a Digital Green Certificate. The social partners call on EU co-legislators to swiftly adopt the regulation and exempt transport workers from it so they are free to undertake their tasks without unnecessary administrative burdens.
  2. Prioritise air crew in the vaccination roll out, calling on member states to prioritise the inoculation of essential workers as part of their vaccination roll-out plans.
  3. Implement a co-ordinated European approach for aviation personnel. The partners call on member states to coordinate and ensure all the requirements are aligned so that transport workers face no difficulties and uncertainty .
  4. Extend payroll support programmes. We urge member states to continue their support schemes for the aviation sector and its employees until at least 2024.

Read the joint action plan here.