EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life


The European Confederation of Executives and Managerial Staff (known as CEC after its French name Confédération européenne des cadres) is – alongside the ETUC and Eurocadres – the third cross-industry confederation representing employees to take part in the European social dialogue allowed under Articles 154 and 155 TFEU.

According to the Communication COM (98) 322 final, ‘Adapting and promoting the social dialogue at Community level’, the European Commission recognises CEC as a social partner which represents ‘certain categories of workers or undertakings’ at a cross-industry level. As a result, the Commission is required to seek CEC’s opinion as well as offer CEC the chance to enter into negotiations with employers on social policy and industrial relations issues as set down by articles 154 and 155 TFEU governing European social dialogue. CEC has participated in the cross-sectoral social dialogue since 1999.

Like Eurocadres, CEC organises and represents professional and managerial staff in Europe. However, while Eurocadres is associated with ETUC, and its member organisations are mainly sections of general unions, CEC is an independent social partner whose member organisations are specifically dealing with executives and professional staff.

Founded in 1989, CEC is made up of 9 European branch federations and 17 national organisations, accounting for a total of 1.5 million managers and professionals in 15 European countries. CEC has four officers (President, Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary-General and Treasurer) and three constitutional bodies: the General Assembly which meets every three years, sets the general policy guidelines, elects the officers and controls the activities of the other bodies; the Steering Committee which performs all actions necessary to run the organisation; and the Executive Committee which mainly acts on powers delegated to it by the Steering Committee.

In 1999, Eurocadres and CEC agreed on a formal cooperation for the European social dialogue. The cooperation between CEC and Eurocadres is based on some common principles:

  • Despite being employees, managers and executives have specific needs and interests which are best represented by specific organisations (such as CEC and Eurocadres);
  • To represent these interests adequately, it is necessary to actively participate in all possible forms of social dialogue at EU level;
  • The formulation of joint opinions and positions among the three cross-industry employee confederations is a prerogative for successfully influencing European social dialogue.
  • of the results of the Eurocadres/CEC cooperation agreement was the establishment of a Liaison Committee (EU9908186F). During negotiations in social dialogue this Liaison Committee is usually part of ETUC’s delegation. In general, the cooperation between ETUC, Eurocadres and CEC works very well. In its Activity Report 2006/2007, CEC states: ‘Although they were our competitors yesterday, the ETUC and Eurocadres are – today more than ever – our partners.’

See also: Agreement on Social Policy; Collective organisation of the social partners; employee representation; ETUC; EU system of industrial relations; European collective agreements; European social dialogue, European social dialogue via Articles 154-155 TFEU; European social model; European social partners; Liaison Forum; management and labour; representativeness; social dialogue; social dialogue summits; tripartite concertation; Tripartite Social Summit.

Please note: the European industrial relations dictionary is updated annually. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them.
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