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The Committee of Ministers adopts changes to the European Social Charter system

Strasbourg, France 27/09/2022
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The Committee of Ministers adopts changes to the European Social Charter system

On 27 September 2022, the Committee of Ministers adopted the operational decisions to reform the European Social Charter system (CM(2022)114). The reform covers the statutory reporting procedure as well as a new ad hoc reporting on critical or emerging issues. It also addresses certain procedural aspects of reporting on follow-up to decisions in the collective complaints procedure. Finally, it responds to the demand by States Parties for enhanced dialogue and other means of improving follow-up to the monitoring activities under the Charter.

The overall aim of this reform is the modernisation of the European Social Charter system to ensure better respect for social rights, in particular through enhanced dialogue between stakeholders (the European Committee of Social Rights and the Governmental Committee with national authorities and relevant stakeholders such as national human rights institutions, national equality bodies, trade unions and other civil society organisations).

Under the new system for presentation of reports, the Charter provisions will be divided into two groups with reports on one group due every two years (meaning that all Charter provisions will be reported on over a four-year period). The timing of ad hoc reports will be decided jointly by the European Committee of Social Rights and the Governmental Committee.

The implementation of the new system will start being phased in as of 2023. In practical terms, this means that States Parties will be requested to submit a report by the end of 2023, either an ad hoc report or an ordinary statutory report on one of the two groups of Charter provisions (the European Committee of Social Rights and the Governmental Committee will decide on this in the coming months).

 For detailed information on the operational changes to the European Social Charter system, please consult the webpage dedicated to the current reform process.

 

Background information

The process for reforming the European Social Charter system finds its root in the High-level Conference on the European Social Charter held in Turin on 17 and 18 October 2014. The Turin process aimed at strengthening the treaty system of the European Social Charter and improving the implementation of social and economic rights in Europe.

Building on the Turin Process, reflection on reforming the European Social Charter system continued in the Organisation during the following years. In 2018 and 2019, upon request of the Committee of Ministers, the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) drew up two reports on possible ways forward. The Secretary General also made proposals after seeking the advice of a high-level group of social rights experts (2020-2021). On 7 October 2021, the Committee of Ministers established an ad hoc working party on improving the European Social Charter system (GT-CHARTE); its consolidated report summarising its proposals was endorsed by the Committee of Ministers at a Ministerial Session, held in Turin in May 2022.


Department of Social Rights

Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law
Council of Europe
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F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex

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www.coe.int/socialcharter

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