Representativeness of the European social partner organisations: Woodworking sector

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Agreements,
  • Collective bargaining,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Representativeness,
  • Social partners,
  • Date of Publication: 20 March 2015


This study provides information designed to aid sectoral social dialogue in the woodworking sector. The study is divided into three parts: a brief overview of the sector’s economic and employment background; an analysis of the relevant social partner organisations in all the EU Member States, with special emphasis on their membership, their role in collective bargaining, social dialogue and public policy and their national and European affiliations; and an analysis of the relevant European organisations, particularly their membership composition and their capacity to negotiate. The aim of Eurofound’s series of representativeness studies is to identify the relevant national and supranational social partner organisations in the field of industrial relations in selected sectors. The impetus of these studies arises from the European Commission’s desire to recognise the representative social partner organisations to be consulted under the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The study was compiled on the basis of individual national reports drawn up by Eurofound’s national correspondents in response to a questionnaire.

Read a summary below, or download the full report in (1 MB PDF).

See also the executive summary.

Objectives of the study

The aim of this representativeness study is to identify the relevant national and supranational social actors – the trade unions and employer organisations – in the field of industrial relations in the woodworking sector, and to show how these actors relate to the sector’s European interest associations of labour and business. The impetus for this study, and for similar studies in other sectors, arises from the aim of the European Commission to identify the representative social partner associations to be consulted under the provisions of the TFEU. Hence, this study seeks to provide the basic information needed to set up sectoral social dialogue. The effectiveness of the European social dialogue depends on whether its participants are sufficiently representative in terms of the sector’s relevant national actors across the EU Member States. Only European associations which meet this precondition will be admitted to the European social dialogue.

Concept and methodology

To accomplish these aims, the study first identifies the relevant national social partner organisations in the woodworking sector, via a top-down approach (listing the members of the European affiliations) and a bottom-up approach via the national correspondents from the European Industrial Relations network.

This involves a clarification of the unit of analysis at both the national and European level of interest representation. The study includes only organisations whose membership domain is ‘sector-related’.

The study follows the conceptual and methodological approach of the series of representativeness studies.

A European association is considered a relevant sector-related interest association if:

  • it is on the Commission’s list of interest organisations to be consulted on behalf of the sector under Article 154 TFEU;
  • and/or it participates in the sector-related European social dialogue;
  • and/or it has requested to be consulted under Article 154 TFEU.

National associations are considered relevant sector-related interest associations if they meet both criteria A and B:

  • A. The association’s domain relates to the sector.
  • B. The association is: (1) either regularly involved in sector-related collective bargaining, and/or (2) affiliated to a ‘sector-related’ European association of business or labour on the Commission’s list of European social partner organisations consulted under Article 154 of the TFEU and/or which participates in the sector-related European social dialogue.
Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments