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A social dialogue can be any communication activity involving social partners intended to influence the arrangement and development of work related issues. In the Marxist, and in the radical leftist discourse in general, the social dialogue is called "class cooperation" or "class collaboration".
These can be direct relations between the social partners themselves ("bipartite") or relations between governmental authorities and the social partners ("tripartite"). To make it more clear, Social dialogue can mean negotiation, consultation or simply an exchange of views between representatives of employers, workers and governments. It may consist of relations between labour and management, with or without direct government involvement. Social dialogue is a flexible tool that enables governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations to manage change and achieve economic and social goals.
Examples of social dialogue activity include mutual information, open discussion, concertation (on-going tripartite dialogue), exchanges of opinions, consultation and negotiation (agreements /common opinions).
European social dialogue is enshrined in the Treaty establishing the European Community (articles 138 and 139; ex 118a and 118b) and it is promoted by the European Commission as an instrument for a better governance and promotion of social and economic reforms.
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