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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Social partners and representation of interests

 

After the Second World War, a system of cooperation developed in Austria between the government and the four main interest groups, the Federal Chamber of Labour, the Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, the Austrian Federation of Trade Unions (ÖGB) and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. This system is known as the “social partnership”. It does not have a basis in the constitution or a separate law, but is organised on a voluntary, informal basis.

In essence, the social partnership involves the four big interest groups subscribing to common, long-term goals of economic and social policy and sharing the conviction that these goals can best be achieved through cooperation and coordinated action founded on ongoing dialogue between the main groups in society, rather than through open conflict.

Social partnership does not, however, mean denying the existence of conflicts of interest. It is a way of balancing divergent economic and social interests, through efforts to find common solutions in the interests of all the parties and a willingness to compromise.

The social partnership has made a vital contribution to economic, social and political stability in Austria over the last decades – mirrored in economic growth and more jobs, the development of social welfare and social harmony.

 

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Datum: 28.04.2006