Terms of reference

On 7 October 2021, in the light of the decisions taken at the 131st Session  of the Committee of Ministers and the Deputies’ follow-up decisions (CM/Del/Dec(2021)1407/1.6), and in particular recalling the devastating social and economic consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic and its impact on social rights in many member States, the Deputies agreed to set up an ad hoc working party on improving the European Social Charter system (GT‑CHARTE) open to all delegations within the Committee of Ministers with the understanding that a Deputy may be accompanied by advisers or experts.

Considering that the participation in the working party of representatives having particular knowledge of the European Social Charter and the functioning of its monitoring procedure is of particular importance, they agreed that representatives of the two organs of the Charter, i.e. the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) and the Governmental Committee of the European Social Charter and the European Code of Social Security (GC), as well as of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH), will be invited to attend the meetings of the working party to provide expert opinions and suggestions.

In the light of the proposals made by the Secretary General in document SG/Inf(2021)13, the report submitted by the CDDH and the position papers adopted by the ECSR and the GC, the Deputies instructed the ad hoc working party to look into practical ways of improving:

a. the efficiency and impact of the reporting procedure under the Social Charter while reducing the reporting burden for member States;

b. the follow-up by the GC and the Committee of Ministers to the conclusions prepared by the ECSR on the basis of the reports submitted by States Parties;

c. procedural aspects of the collective complaints procedure, including the follow-up by the ECSR and the Committee of Ministers of decisions on the merits of such complaints, having due regard to the competences of the ECSR.

The Deputies instructed the ad hoc working party:

a. to submit in good time for the preparation of the Ministerial Session in May 2022, i.e. at the latest by 30 April 2022, its proposals in relation to a., b. and c. above; and

b. to examine subsequently the more longer-term substantive and procedural issues.