Strengthening social dialogue
The Global Fund has made a valuable contribution to strengthening social dialogue and ensuring that beneficiary countries are better placed to address decent work objectives, such as life-long learning and improving health and safety at work.
Fifty-two projects have been funded in 13 beneficiary countries, reaching 13 000 people directly and an estimated 2 million people indirectly. Given its success, the Norwegian government intends to continue to fund this area in the next programming period.
Held in Oslo on 25 November, the closing conference was an opportunity to summarise results, exchange best practice and look to the future. The conference heard from project promoters and project partners. Speakers included the Norwegian State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ms Ingvild Naess Stub and the Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Ms Rie Vejs Kjeldgaard.
“I am impressed by what we have accomplished. There are major challenges for the European labour market. A good working environment requires a high degree of cooperation between governments, workers and employers,” said Ms Stub.
“The European Social Model is being very challenged at the moment. The Norway Grants are supporting partnerships and projects which share the ILO objectives of tripartite dialogue and decent work,” added Ms Kjeldgaard.
The Fund is managed by Innovation Norway. At the conference, the programme manager, Mr Knut Ringstadt, congratulated all those who had been involved:
“We are delighted that the Global Fund projects have over-delivered in terms of results. Its success can be attributed to the commitment and hard work of all those involved. The project promoters have shown imagination, determination and skill in bringing together the different social partners and starting a dialogue that we hope will set a solid foundation for the future,” he said.
Partnership with Norwegian organisations
One of the most notable aspects of the Fund has been the very real and enthusiastic participation of Norwegian partners, with bilateral cooperation in 28 out of 52 projects.
“We have a strong tradition of cooperation between the authorities and the social partners here in Norway. Binding dialogue has contributed to securing jobs and labour standards. Norwegian partners have brought their experience with them into the projects,” said Ms Stub.
The Nordic model is characterised by a high level of social dialogue built on strong cooperation between employers, employees and government. This ‘tripartite’ approach helps to build trust and reduces conflict.
You can read more about results and partners involved in the ‘Success Stories’ section of our new brochure about the Fund. Interviews with a representative of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) are also included. Other partners have included the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS), the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (NUMGE), the Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS), to name but some of the organisations involved.
Whilst today’s event is a closing conference, one beneficiary country – Croatia – which became a member of the EEA in 2014, has only recently started its project. The project will focus on raising awareness of social dialogue and determining priorities for future action.