The European Social Charter is
a Council of Europe treaty which guarantees social and economic human
rights. It was adopted in 1961 and revised in 1996.
Europe restarts in Turin: High-level Conference on the European Social Charter
[21/10/2014]The High Level Conference on the European Social Charter organised by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Italian Government and the City of Turin, in the framework of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, took place at Teatro Regio, Turin (Italy), on the 17-18 October 2014. Some 400 participants were brought together from 38 Member states of the Council of Europe.
In accordance with the established programme, the Conference was opened on 17 October by Mr Giuliano Poletti, Minister of Labour and Social Policies of Italy, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Mr Piero Fassino, Mayor of Turin.
During the first Ministerial Session of the Conference, the following speakers took the floor : Mr Salim Muslumov, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Population of Azerbaijan, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Mr László Andor, European Commissioner responsible for employment, social affairs and inclusion, Mr Antonio Tajani, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms Algimanta Pabedinskiene, Minister of Social Security and Labour for Lithuania, Mr Faruk Çelik, Minister of Labour and Social Security for Turkey, Mr Sergey F. Vel'myaikin, First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation, and Mr Radoslaw Mleczko, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Labour and Social Policies for Poland.
The opening day of the Conference was then structured around two Panel Sessions. The first, “Austerity measures in a period of crisis: the impact on social rights, the participation of citizens and the contribution of the European Social Charter to the crisis exit phase”, was followed by a second session on “The contribution of the collective complaints procedure to the respect of social rights in Europe”. These panels benefitted from the contribution of representatives of the following international organisations and institutions: the International Labour Organisation, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, the International Organisation of Employers, the European Trade Union Confederation, the Academic Network on the European Social Charter and Social Rights, the European Committee of Social Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights.
On 18 October, the opening speech was delivered by Ms Anne Brassuer, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Continuing the conference with the second Ministerial Session, speeches were given by Ms Michaela Marskova, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs for the Czech Republic, Mr Nicolas Schmit, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Economy for Luxembourg, Mr Michael Farrugia, Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity for Malta, Ms Petya Evtimova, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy for Bulgaria, Ms Tatjana Dalić, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Labour and Pension System for Croatia, Mr Nenad Ivanišević, State Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs for Serbia, and Mr Dejan Levanic, State Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal opportunities for Slovenia.
The Ministerial Session was followed by a Panel Session which dealt with “Synergies between the law of the European Union and the European Social Charter, to which representatives of the United Nations Committee of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Committee of Social Rights, the European Commission, and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.
Following a statement by Ms Laura Boldrini, Speaker of Chamber of Deputies, Italian Parliament, a summary of debates was presented by Mr Michele Nicoletti, General Rapporteur of the Conference, Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Conference was closed by Mr Giuliano Poletti, Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Mr Piero Fassino.
The complete list of participants at the Conference, the texts of each intervention and other information are available on the website of the Conference.
International Conference in Roma on “Making the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union a living instrument”[23/10/2014] The Italian Institute for International Legal Studies (ISGI – CNR) organises an international Conference on “Making the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union a living instrument”. This event will take place in Rome on 23-24 October at the National Research Council (CNR). It will bring together researchers involved in the EU related project, leading academics and experts in the field of EU law and protection of human rights. A special focus issue will be dedicated to the application of the EU Charter’s provisions concerning social rights. It is foreseen that the President, General Rapporteur and two Members of the European Committee of Social Rights will take the floor during the Conference.
International Meeting in Geneva on the protection of economic, social and cultural rights[13/10/2014] On 8-9 October 2014 in Geneva, the President of the European Committee of Social Rights, Mr Luis Jimena Quesada, took part in the International Workshop on Enhancing Cooperation between United Nations and Regional Mechanisms for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. He was accompanied by Mr Henrik Kristensen, Deputy Executive Secretary to the Committee. The workshop organised by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had as its overall theme the protection of economic, social and cultural rights.
The Committee of Ministers adopted a new resolution[13/10/2014] At the 1209th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies on 8 October 2014, the Committee of Ministers adopted Resolution CM/Res ChS (2014)12, following the decision on admissibility and the merits adopted on 02/12/2012 by the European Committee on Social Rights on the Complaint No. 83/2012 European Confederation of Police (EUROCOP) c. Ireland (more information).
Road show “We are all citizens” Programme[06/10/2014] On 22 September 2014, Petros Stangos, Vice-President of the European Committee of Social Rights, represented the Committee on a Panel entitled “Fundamental Social Rights: Greece and Europe”, in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Meeting in Copenhagen on the implementation of the European Social Charter in Denmark[22/09/2014] On 23 September 2014 a delegation of the European Committee of Social Rights will hold a series of meetings in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the Danish Government, the Parliament, the Danish Institute of Human Rights and the Danish Trade Union Confederation to discuss inter alia the prospects for ratification by Denmark of the Revised Charter and the collective complaints procedure. The delegation consists of the Committee's Vice-President, Ms Monika Schlachter, the General Rapporteur, Mr Colm O'Cinneide, and Ms Birgitta Nystrøm. The delegation will be accompanied by Mr Henrik Kristensen, Deputy Executive Secretary to the Committee.
Five resolutions are adopted by the Committee of MinistersAt the 1204th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies on 2 July 2014, the Committee of Ministers adopted Resolutions CM/ResChS(2014)7, CM/ResChS(2014)8, CM/ResChS(2014)9, CM/ResChS(2014)10 and CM/ResChS(2014)11, following the decisions on the merits adopted on 07/12/2012 by the European Committee on Social Rights in the following cases :
- Federation of Employed Pensioners of Greece (IKA–ETAM) v. Greece, Complaint No. 76/2012
- Panhellenic Federation of Public Service Pensioners (POPS) v. Greece, Complaint No. 77/2012 - Pensioners’ Union of the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways (I.S.A.P.) v. Greece, Complaint No. 78/2012,
- Panhellenic Federation of Pensioners of the Public Electricity Corporation (POS-DEI) v. Greece, Complaint No. 79/2012
- Pensioner’s Union of the Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE) v. Greece, Complaint No. 80/2012 (more information)
The Committee of Ministers adopts changes to the reporting and monitoring system with respect to the European Social CharterOn 2 April 2014, the Committee of Ministers adopted changes to the reporting and monitoring system with respect to the European Social Charter. The changes are to be put in place with immediate effect. The most important aim of the changes is to simplify the national reporting mechanism for State Parties having accepted the collective complaints procedure. (more information) Streamlining and improving the reporting and monitoring system of the European Social Charter Decision of the Committee of Ministers
European Committee of Social Rights
The 273rd session of the European Committee of Social Rights will be held in Strasbourg from 8 to 12 September 2014.
Synopsis of the 273rd session
Exchanges of view with the Committee
Five complaints have been registered against Italy, Finland and Belgium- Associazione sindacale "La Voce dei Giusti" v. Italy, Complaint No. 105/2014
- Finnish Society of Social Rights v. Finland, Complaint No. 106/2014
- Finnish Society of Social Rights v. Finland, Complaint No. 107/2014
- Finnish Society of Social Rights v. Finland, Complaint No. 108/2014
- Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC) v. Belgium, Complaint No. 109/2014
The Associazione sindacale "La Voce dei Giusti" lodged a complaint against Italy which was registered on 22 April 2014 and relates to Articles 10 and E of the European Social Charter. It concerns the right to vocational training for teaching staff in a certain category. Complaint No. 105/2014 (Italian only)
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.
- Complaint No. 106/2014 concerns unlawful dismissals (sanctions and relevant remedies)
Complaint No. 106/2014
- Complaint No. 107/2014 concerns collective dismissals based on financial or productions–related grounds Complaint No. 107/2014
- Complaint No. 108/2014 concerns the situation of the long-term unemployed Complaint No. 108/2014
The Mental Disability Advocacy Center (MDAC) lodged a complaint against Belgium which was registered on 30 April 2014 and relates to Articles 15 and 17 of the European Social Charter. It concerns the right to an inclusive education for children with disabilities. Complaint No. 109/2014
Collective complaints website
Meeting on non accepted provisions of the European Social Charter by Azerbaijan in Baku[25/06/2014] A meeting on the non accepted provisions of the European Social Charter by Azerbaijan was held in Baku today. Two members of the European Committee of Social Rights, Mr. Lauri Leppi et M. Ruchan Isik participated in this meeting, as well as Mr. Ramon Prieto-Suarez, legal officer in the Department of the European Social Charter. Programme
Round table on the promotion of the European Social Charter in Belarus[18/06/2014] A round table on the promotion of the European Social Charter was held in Belarus on 19/06/2014. Mr Régis Brillat, Head of the Department of the European Social Charter and Mrs Danuta Wisniewska-Cazals participated in this event. Programme
Symposium on collective complaints in Paris[18/06/2014] A symposium on the European Social Charter and collective complaints, organised in cooperation with the Fédération Internationale des Associations de Personnes Âgées (FIAPA), was held in Paris on 18 June 2014. Prof. Luis Jimena Quesada, President of the European Committee of Social Rights, participated in this symposium. Programme Press Release
Meeting in Moscow to allow for an exchange of views on conclusions with respect to the Russian Federation[27/05/2014] A meeting was held in Moscow on 27 May 2014 allowing for an exchange of views covering specific provisions where the European Committee of Social Rights has found the Russian Federation not to be in compliance with the rights enshrined in the Charter as well as cases in which the Committee was unable to reach a decision due to insufficient information. Three members of the European Committe of Social Rights, Mr Petros Stangos, Vice President, Ms Elena Machulskaya and Ms Eliane Chemla, participated in this meeting, as well as Mr. Régis Brillat, Head of the Department of the European Social Charter and Mr. Ramon Prieto Suarez, legal officer. Programme
Activities of the European Social Charter