Austrian Development Agency supports the improvement of Social Dialogue in Armenia


National Centre for Legislative Regulation with the support of the Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation hosted Dr. Gernot Mitter, Deputy Head of the Department of Labour Market and Integration Policy, Austrian Federal Chamber of Labor during the period of October 6 - 21, 2014.

Phase 1 of the "Consultancy on Social Dialogue” was devoted to a visit of the consultant to Yerevan and to a series of face-to-face trainings, teachings and workshops with the team of the "National Centre of Legislative Regulation” (NCLR) and stakeholders of a possible social dialogue in Armenia.

Social dialogue (SD) on bilateral or trilateral level is –according to a whole range of documents released by all institutions of the European Union – a core element of the so called "European Social Model”. SD on trilateral level provides the opportunity for involvement and participation of business and labor organisations into public decision-making procedures concerning economic, labor market, industrial relations and social policies and in many cases into the delivery of public services.

Functioning and meaningful trilateral SD needs a set of requirements, i.e. independent and capable representing of business and workers interests, a political will to engage in finding compromises and consent on all sides and a favorable legal framework. The positive effects of a functioning trilateral SD on economic development, wealth distribution and social/polictical stability have been proven by empirical research.

The Austrian consultant provided consultancy to the Regulatory Guillotine Project team and the stakeholders as well as conducted trainings and workshops on the Social Dialogue focused mainly on the Central European, namely the German and Austrian model of social partnership as a system of involving the representatives of employees and employers in law-making and the delivery of public services.
Below are the activities of Dr. Mitter along with supporting presentations and video materials:

Sessions 1-3
October 6-8, 2014
Three "exploratory and preparatory meetings” (duration: 3 hours each) with the NCLR Review and Cost teams
Participants: Armenian project team and consultant.
Aim: Get together of the central protagonists of the whole consultancy; information about and preparation as well as coordination of the first set of workshops.
Method: presentation by the consultant and if necessary by the project team; discussion and fixing follow up tasks.

Session 1
October 6, 2014
Preparatory meeting:
Necessary clarifications
Let´s get into the matter
Some more information


Session 2
October 7, 2014
Preparatory meeting:
Main Issues of social dialogue
Social Dialogue on EU-level

Download the Presentation


Session 3, part A
October 8, 2014
Preparatory meeting:
Tripartite SD in Austria
Tripartite Decision Making Process in Austria

Session 3, part B
Social Dialogue in Germany and the CEE-EU member states:
Social Dialogue in Germany
Social Dialogue in new EU member states


Sessions 4-5
October 10 and 13, 2014
Workshops (duration: 4 hours each) with the NCLR Review and Cost teams, Ministries/State Agencies of Armenia
Participants: NCLR Review and Cost teams, representatives of involved Armenian government departments (labour, social security, economy, justice and finance), representatives of the Armenian trade union congress and employers associations.
Aim: Information on social dialogue on European level (what is its importance and its implications, how does it work, what does it need to function, who is how involved, what are the outcomes, what´s about future developments); Information on the Austrian system of "Social Partnership” (historical development and importance for Austria´s socio-economic development; legal provisions; protagonists; main fields of action; actual situation and possible future; lessons to learn from a critical point of view); fixing of relevant findings for the Armenian participants.
Method: Presentation based on hand-outs by the consultant; plenary sessions and working groups.

Session 4
October 10, 2014
Good Governance by Involvement, Tripartite Social Dialogue:
Some Definitions and Comments
Social Dialogue on EU-level
Time Content Method
9:30-9:45 Opening and introduction of consultant Addresses of welcome by NCLR team member and Consultant
9:45-10:45 Social Dialogue, Social Partnership, Tripartite Processes: rationale, definitions, requirements, levels, issues and objectives Presentation by consultant, comprehension questions and plenary discussion
10:45-11:15 Relevance of vivid social dialogue for Armenias social and economic development Group work (leading question: What could be the relevance of vivid social dialogue for Armenias society and economy? What would be necessary?)
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:00 Social Dialogue Plenum: presentation and discussion of the working groups findings and opinions
12:00-13:00 Social Dialogue on European level: forms, actors, outcomes, challenges Presentation by consultant, comprehension questions
13:00-13:30 Conclusions and closing of workshop Plenary discussion and closing words by consultant and NCLR-team member


Session 5
October 13, 2014
Good Governance by Involvement, Tripartite Social Dialogue:
Trilateral Social Dialogue – The Austrian Model
Tripartite Decision Making Process in Austria

Time Content Method
9:30-10:45 Introduction into the Austrian model of social partnership: historical development; actors; political relevance; changes and challenges Presentation by the consultant, comprehension questions and plenary discussion
10:45-11:15 Main fields of action: Working conditions, wage bargaining, labour law, social security, macro-economics Presentation by the consultant, questions and plenary discussion
11:15-11:35 Break
11:30-12:00 The role of social partnership in Austria´s labour market policy – decision making and responsibility for the whole economy as the two sides of the coin Presentation, questions and plenary discussion
12:00-13:00 Social Dialogue Plenum: presentation and discussion of the working groups findings and opinions
12:00-13:00 Possible lessons to be drawn from the Austrian experience for Armenia Group work, plenary presentation and discussion of findings and proposals
13:00-13:30 Conclusions and closing of the workshop Plenary discussion, fixing of the agreed conclusions by consultant and NCLR team member


Sessions 6-10
October 15-21, 2014 and October 20-21
Reflection on the "outdoor-workshops” (lessons learned, main results) and Chamber-system for Armenia – how to get into action

The workshops on October 15-21, 2014 were dedicated to reflecting the information delivered on Oct 6th - Oct 8th on the background of the political and economic situation in Armenia and the state of the business and employees representative organizations. The main focus of the discussions was the possible outcome of a stable and institution-based trilateral social dialogue for Armenia´s further economic development and how such a way of involvement and participation of stakeholders in public decision-making procedures could work and be established. Further information was delivered, i.e. on European forms of trilateral social dialogue with institutions based on public law in charge.

Sessions 6-7
October 15-16, 2014
Input - SD in Germany and the new EU-member states
Common reflection – main findings of out-door workshops
Implementing a system of Chambers following the Austrian example in Armenia: SWOT-Analysis

Session 8
October 17, 2014
Necessary elements for Armenian legislation concerning establishment of chambers (i.e. Chamber of Labour; brainstorming and discussion)

Session 9
October 20, 2014
Elements for Armenian legislation: completion and build up of a list of necessary elements
Awareness, commitment and support – what are useful and necessary steps for public and political support for implementation of "chambers” in Armenia (Swot-Analysis as basis for discussion and drafting a project- and action plan)

Session 10
October 21, 2014
Awareness, commitment and support – completion of a draft project and action plan)
Closure of consultancy – main findings and elements for the consultant’s report

At the end of the Sessions everybody was granted with Certificates of participation in the workshop on "Good governance by involvement: Tripartite social dialogue" issued by the National Centre of Legislative Regulation. Austrian Development Agency, the Operational Unit of the Austrian Development Cooperation, Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.


In the framework of the consultancy on October 21 a meeting-discussion was organized in the Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry among Dr. Gernot Mitter, Mr. Araik Vardanyan, chief of staff of the Armenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Regulatory Guillotine project representatives. During the meeting parties presented the Armenian and European cases of Social Dialogue, also discussed the possibilities of cooperation and using the best practice. Existing public commissions, in the field of professional training, could be seen as a nucleus for establishing an ongoing, meaningful trilateral social dialogue. Wish was expressed for improvement of involvement into public decision-making procedure.


Dr. Gernot Mitter's video presentation on Social Dialogue - aimed to enrich the on-line information and training opportunities of the interested audience.

Part A: What is social dialogue?

Part B: Why engage into social dialogue?

Part C: What is needed?

Part D: Issues for SD
Part E: A Resume
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