European and International Social Partners

The ILO Office for the European Union and the Benelux Countries maintains good contacts with the major employers’ organizations and trade unions of the Benelux countries as well as with their representations at the European and international level. The organizations are:

At European level 

ETUC, the European Trade Union Confederation, established in 1973 and based in Brussels, today represents 89 national trade unions from 39 European countries as well as 10 sectoral organizations. The primary objective of ETUC is to promote the European social model. ETUC believes that consulting workers, collective bargaining, social dialogue and good working conditions are the key to promoting innovation, productivity, competitiveness and growth in Europe.

BUSINESSEUROPE, the Confederation of European Business, based in Brussels, is the official representation of industrialists and employers at the EU level. It currently consists of 40 members from 34 different countries, including European Union Member States, the European Economic Area countries, and some Central and Eastern European countries. The current structure, which includes seven general policy committees and about sixty working groups, promotes the common professional interests of the companies it represents and participates, on behalf of its members, in the dialogue between social partners enshrined in the Treaty of the European Union. BUSINESSEUROPE is governed by the Council of Presidents.

Other employers’ organizations are UEAPME, which is the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and CEEP, the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services. All above mentioned organizations are involved and engaged in the European Social Dialogue.

At international level 

ITUC, the International Trade Union Confederation, established in 2006, represents 180 million workers in 333 nationally affiliated organizations in 162 countries. The primary objective of the ITUC is to promote and defend the rights and interests of workers through the international cooperation of trade unions, global campaigns and industrial action at the heart of the key international institutions. ITUC collaborates closely with ILO on decent work for all and a fair globalization. The ILO's Governing Body has officially conferred general advisory status upon ITUC. ITUC also maintains relations with several other specialized UN institutions.

IOE , the International Organisation of Employers was created in 1920 and is based in Geneva with the aim to promote and defend the interests of employers, particularly in the International Labour Organization. The IOE is the permanent liaison body for the exchange of information, views and experience among employers throughout the world. It has been recognized as the only organization at the international level that represents the interests of business in the labour and social policy fields. The IOE embodies 150 national employer organizations from more than 140 countries.