During his statement at the high-level videoconference on “Protection of human life and public health in the context of a pandemic”, organised in the framework of the Greek Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 3 June 2020, Giuseppe Palmisano, President of the European Committee of Social Rights, highlighted three main points:
- pandemic-readiness requires States to ensure the enjoyment of a range of social rights: universal health care system, employment security, health and safety at work, protection of older people, solid public education, protection of children and women against violence and abuse, minimum income, and the right to housing;
- this virus is here to stay and there will be other viral or non-viral disasters: the future should be constructed with the European Social Charter in one hand, and with legislative, regulatory and funding mechanisms in the other. The Charter should inspire the new social contract that world leaders now demand;
- States should strengthen their commitment to the Charter, in particular as regards the revised Charter and the collective complaints procedure which are good governance instruments helping states parties take the best possible decisions in areas covered by the Charter. Accession by the European Union to the European Social Charter should be on the table.
“Anything short of embracing the best instruments of democratic governance is unacceptable and amounts to government or legislators failing people”, said Giuseppe Palmisano.