The new regulations, prepared with technical support from FIIAPP, will make it possible to institutionalize social dialogue in this Central American country.
On 9 January, the Economic and Social Council (ESC) Act was passed in a plenary session of the Honduran National Congress; it was ratified on Monday, 13 January. The regulation represents a new organizational and functional structure which will guarantee its stability and operating capacity through a legislative decree of constitution and an expanded and improved operating regulation for the ESC.
The most important points of this new regulation are the following:
1) The ESC will have an indefinite duration, a special labour system, and functional, technical, financial and administrative autonomy.
2) The opinions of the ESC may be taken into account prior to approval of draft laws.
3) It will be able to issue non-binding views and recommendations regarding draft laws.
4) The new structure includes the figure of a vice president and an Advisory Body.
The entire process was accompanied by advising and assistance from FIIAPP through the EUROsociAL programme and through different activities which included a visit by Honduran ESC representatives to the EU to learn the experiences of their counterparts in Spain and France, a comparative analysis of ESC regulations in the EU and Latin America, technical assistance from the Spanish ESC and a national workshop to raise awareness in Tegucigalpa, which included the presentation of the draft law to the President of the Republic of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo.
This support to the Honduran ESC is within the framework of the EUROsociAL “Strengthening dialogue mechanisms for building consensus for social cohesion” Action being coordinated by FIIAPP and which has an operational partner in the Spanish ESC.