European Social Charter
Guaranteed Rights Housing
Legal & social protection
Movement of persons
Signatures and Ratifications
47 States have signed or ratified either the Charter or the 1961 Charter.
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MESSAGE FROM LUIS JIMENA QUESADA, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF SOCIAL RIGHTS
Improving the Social Charter protection mechanism: more effectiveness for social rights through indivisibility and interdependence of guarantees
Changes to the reporting mechanism adopted by the Committee of Ministers, on 2 April 2014, represent a major step towards greater respect for social rights in Europe, by emphasizing that recognition of human rights, without providing effective guarantees, is meaningless.
The most important aim of the changes adopted is to simplify the reporting system for State Parties having accepted the collective complaints procedure which will result :
- firstly, in more efficient interventions of all actors involved in the reporting system, including national governments (in terms of good administration) and ultimately the European Committee of Social Rights (in terms of good justice), without forgetting the useful character of comments sent by social partners and organizations of the civil society;
- secondly and above all, in more effective protection of the rights set forth in the Charter.
These changes will enhance the synergies between the reporting system and the collective complaints procedure and are consistent with the idea of indivisibility and interdependence of both guarantees and follow up the Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the European Social Charter adopted on 12 October 2011 in which it "calls on those Members States not having done so to consider accepting the system of collective complaints".
These changes are a good prelude to those that will be discussed in the important high level Conference which will be held in Turin from 17-18 October 2014 and which will allow the Council of Europe to successfully meet the challenges ahead!
>> More information on the reform
- Decision of the Committee of Ministers
- Calendar of the new reporting system
European Committee of Social Rights
The Committee held its 272nd session
from 29 June to 14 July 2014 in Strasbourg.
The next session will be held in Strasbourg from 8 to 12 September 2014.
The 2013 Activity Report of the Committee is available on line
Recently registered complaints
The Finnish Society of Social Rights lodged three complaints against Finland which were registered on 29 April 2014 and relate to Articles 12 and 24 of the European Social Charter.
- European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) v. Czech Republic, Complaint No. 104/2014, registered on 3 March 2014. It is alleged that in the Czech Republic, Roma are disproportionately subjected to residential segregation, substandard housing conditions, forced evictions and other systemic violations of the right to adequate housing and the right to health. (more information)
Decision on admissibility
- Bedriftsforbundet v. Norway, Complaint No. 103/2014.
The complaint relates to Article 5 (the right to organise) of the Revised Social Charter. The complainant organisation, the Bedriftsforbundet, alleges that the practice at Norwegian ports, requiring that employees have membership of the dock workers union in order to be allowed to take up work, constitutes a breach of the above mentioned provision. (more information)
Decisions on admissibility and the merits
The European Committee of Social Rights decided to strike out the case Association for the Protection of All Children (APPROACH) Ltd v. Cyprus, Complaint No. 97/2013, from the list of complaints on 12 May 2014.
Texts adopted by the Committee of Ministers
- Resolution CM/Res ChS (2014) 1 in the case Swedish Trade Union Confederation (L0) and Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees (TCO) v. Sweden, Complaint No. 85/2012, adopted on 5 February 2014
Europe restarts in Turin: High-level Conference on the European Social Charter
Europe is perceived by its citizens as being remote from their everyday concerns. In order to regain its appeal Europe must focus on the fundamental values which are central to its mission to bring together states and their citizens and primarily on the European Social Charter, signed in Turin on 18 October 1961.
This treaty, a genuine social constitution for Europe,must be at the forefront so that Europe can once again count on the full support of citizens and the commitment of states based on the values of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Against this background, the Italian Government, the Council of Europe and the City of Turin are, in the context of the Italian Presidency of the European Union, organising a High-level Conference on the European Social Charter, to be held in Turin, at Teatro Regio, on 17 and 18 October 2014.
The purpose of the Conference is to bring together policy-makers from the member States and institutions of the Council of Europe, as well as those of the European Union, to discuss the relaunch of the normative system based on the Charter, with a view to its consecration as a source of international law - alongside the European Convention on Human Rights - to uphold the respect of all fundamental rights.
The debates of the Conference will focus on the integration between the law of the European Union and the provisions of the Charter, the judicial monitoring of its application, and the contribution of the Charter to the crisis exit phase. In this framework, Ministers, vice-Ministers and Secretaries of States will take the floor during a Ministerial Session.
A summary report of the debates will be drawn up and this will be forwarded immediately after the Conference to the authorities of the States and international organisations involved.
The Charter in the field
Meeting in Moscow on conclusions concerning the Russian Federation. This meeting, held in Moscow on 27 May 2014, allowed for an exchange of views on specific provisions of the European Social Charter where the European Committee of Social Rights concluded that the Russian Federation was not in conformity with the Charter or where the Committee was unable to reach a decision due to insufficient information. - Programme
Colloquy on collective complaints in Paris, held on 18 June 2014 and organised in cooperation with Fédération Internationale des Associations de Personnes Âgées (FIAPA). Prof. Luis Jimena Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights participated in this colloquy.
Round Table on the promotion of the Social Charter in Belarus, held in Minsk on 27 May 2014. - Programme
Meeting on non-accepted provisions of the European Social Charter by Azerbaijan, Baku, 25 June 2014.
Department of the European Social Charter
Directorate of Human Rights
Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law
Council of Europe
F - 67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Tel. +33 (0) 3 88 41 32 58
Fax +33 (0) 3 88 41 37 00