Back Call for contributions on the High-Level Conference on the European Social Charter

Call for contributions on the High-Level Conference on the European Social Charter

This call for contributions is addressed to states, ministries and other government agencies with social rights responsibilities, intergovernmental organisations, organisations of workers and employers, civil society organisations, academia and individuals with expertise and interest in social rights, human rights, social justice and related fields.

The contributions received will be considered when preparing the Programme of the High-Level Conference on the European Social Charter (3-4 July 2024, in Vilnius, Lithuania) and the messages of the Political Declaration, the expected main outcome of the Conference. They can therefore be relevant in shaping the Council of Europe’s future agenda in respect of social rights and social justice.

The suggested objectives of the Conference include:

Promoting acceptance by member states of further commitments under the Charter where possible. In this respect, a treaty event is envisaged where Council of Europe member states can undertake or pledge additional commitments under the Charter, including acceptance of provisions and, for those that have not yet done so, ratification of the revised Charter and acceptance of the collective complaints procedure.

Encouraging ratification of the Revised Charter by the seven States that are still bound by the 1961 Charter as being of particular importance in order for the Council of Europe to show unity in its mission to defend social rights and to reduce the (treaty law) complexity that arises from the existence of two social charters.  

Taking stock of the implementation of the Committee of Ministers’ decisions on the reform of the European Social Charter system and considering whether additional measures are needed to achieve the objective of strengthening the implementation of social rights in Europe.

Emphasising that social rights are human rights and as such universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and expressing support for them. Also, reaffirming the Council of Europe’s Summit statement that social justice is crucial for democratic stability and security and drawing the necessary consequences therefrom.

Considering contemporary challenges with respect to social rights and the required responses from a Charter perspective having regard to the Council of Europe’s human rights architecture.

Considering the desirability of institutionalising a High-level Conference of specialised ministers in the area of social rights (labour, health, social affairs, housing, etc).

 Initiating a reflection on whether and how to consolidate the various instruments that make up the Charter system and, if appropriate, requesting that the Committee of Ministers set in motion a process to consolidate the Charter instruments into one single treaty.

Discussing strategic partnerships, including the relationship with the European Union and the feasibility of EU accession to the Charter.

Exploring how the Charter's organs can concretely assist states and contribute to the Charter’s effective implementation, in light of the reform’s adopted texts. In this respect, exploring the meaning of enhanced dialogue as directed by the Committee of Ministers in the reform process and considering funding opportunities for assisting states who request support in their endeavours to improve social rights protection or to take action upon Charter monitoring outcomes.

Submission Guidelines:

Contributions should be submitted in a structured format, clearly responding to one or more of the objectives mentioned above. Additional ideas, for example on the basis of the background information, are welcome.

Contributors are invited to submit their written contribution to the Council of Europe’s Department of Social Rights by 15 March 2024 at: [email protected]. They should be clearly labelled (e.g. Contribution to the High-Level Conference of the European Social Charter). Collective contributions by persons or organisations within a stakeholder group are also welcome.

The contributions will be reviewed and selected ideas may be incorporated into the Programme and Political Declaration of the High-Level Conference. With the agreement of the contributors, the contributions may also be published on the (conference) website (available soon).

Your participation is invaluable in ensuring the success of the Conference and advancing the cause of social justice and human rights in Europe.


Strasbourg 15/02/2024
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Department of Social Rights

Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law
Council of Europe
1, quai Jacoutot
F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex

Tél. +33 (0)3 90 21 49 61



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