Strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in the Baltic countries

A project proposal under budget line

FULL TEXT: Project report |Riga Declaration

The project “Strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in the Baltic countries” has the following main objectives:

The goal of this project is to improve the dissemination of the priorities and outcomes of the European sectoral social dialogue in the hospital sector in the Baltic countries, to help share good practice on some of the core priority actions of the sectoral dialogue between EPSU and HOSPEEM, to help build the capacity of the hospital sector social partners in the Baltic countries and to assist in feeding national social dialogue interests from the “bottom up”.

Dissemination will specifically focus on the framework agreement reached at sectoral level in 2009 on needlestick injuries. Good practice sharing will relate to a priority of the work programme agreed by EPSU and HOSPEEM for 2010 and the activities of one of its working groups on skills development in the sector. Finally, the project will focus on involving employer and trade union organisations in the sector in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to help them develop their national sectoral dialogue in order to allow them to feed their own priorities, concerns and good practices to the European level.

Specific objectives

  1. To build on the activities and findings of a previous project completed in 2008 which focussed on strengthening social dialogue in the hospital sector in all new Member States. This project involved the identification of relevant social partner organisations and social dialogue processes in all EU countries, as well as providing capacity building to social partner organisations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This new projects hopes to draw on the organisations and priorities identified in this report for the Baltic countries and provide similar capacity building measures in Latvia and Lithuania (where HOSPEEM currently has members) and to follow up contacts with relevant employers organisations in Estonia to establish if similar activities can be envisaged between the social partners in this country, which could ultimately boost the representativity of HOSPEEM in this country and to add value to the European social dialogue process.
  2. To contribute to the dissemination of the framework agreement on needlesticks by assessing its potential impact and implementation and organising a dissemination event in Latvia.
  3. To contribute to the proceedings of the working group on retention and skills development by gathering good practice examples to be discussed at a seminar in Latvia and shared at the final dissemination event.

Project context


A sectoral social dialogue Committee for the hospital sector involving EPSU and HOSPEEM was set up in 2006. Since then, this sectoral social dialogue has matured significantly and has already led to the agreement of a Code of Conduct on Ethical Recruitment, as well as, in 2009, to the negotiation of a framework agreement on needlestick injuries, which has now been transformed into an EU Directive for implementation at Member State level. In addition a number of joint text have been adopted, for example on the proposals for a Directive on Patient’s Rights in the EU. A number of working groups have also been active in recent years, which have exchanged information on mobility, retention, ageing and skills issues affecting the sector. EPSU and HOSPEEM are also part of a multi-sectoral initiative exploring the possibility of the development of a joint tool on tackling third party violence in a number of sectors.

The dissemination of social dialogue results such as the needlesticks agreement and the continuation of the exchange of information in the working group on retention and skills development are a priority of the sectoral social partners’ work programme for 2010.

In 2008, HOSPEEM and EPSU implemented a project on strengthening social dialogue in the new Member States. The goal of this project was twofold: to identify and chart social dialogue processes in the hospital sector in all Member States and to offer assistance with capacity building to trade union and employer organisations in the sector in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

EPSU and HOSPEEM are now keen to build on this experience and to run a similar project aimed at further engaging social partner organisations in the Baltic countries. HOSPEEM currently has members in Latvia and Lithuania, with EPSU represented in all Baltic countries.