The President of the Republic suggested rethinking the composition of the economic and social partners with a seat on the Permanent Commission for Social Dialogue (CPCS) to cover “new realities”, giving examples of banking, insurance and large-scale commerce.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was speaking at the Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon, where he ended the presentation session of the book “30 years of the Economic and Social Council”, by Pedro Tadeu, published by Almedina.

Pointing out that “the country has changed a lot in these 30 years”, the head of state defended that “the social agreement has to be really representative of the Portuguese economic and social reality” and that “the legal-institutional formulas are worthless if the country changes and the formulas stay the same”.

“In terms of social consultation, what a present or future statute of a body like this should safeguard is the capacity, the flexibility to adjust to these changes, and to demand from those who are the partners that they are truly representative partners, that is, that accompany the change in society, not be fixed in a certain moment”, he continued.

The President of the Republic referred that in the Permanent Commission for Social Dialogue (CPLPS) “only a very small number of partners are represented there, which supposedly cover everything, but no longer cover the fundamental realities of Portuguese society”.

“They do not cover the financial sector” or “very significant service sectors” or “other social realities that are emerging, the most varied, from migrations to other forms of exclusion”, he pointed out.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa observed that “it is not an easy task that may await the legislators in rethinking this body, because it was conceived to bring together certain realities in a certain historical time” and concluded his speech by declaring: “Imagination is needed”.

Questioned, on the way out, about this point of his intervention, the head of state reiterated the idea that “there are certain realities that are not covered today by the economic and social partners: banking and insurance, for example, big business, certain sectors of services have their own organizations, and others that have their own organizations that have emerged, naturally, civil construction”.


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