The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) adopted during its 333rd session (20-24 March 2023):
- The decision on admissibility in International Federation of Associations of the Elderly (FIAPA) v. France, Complaint No. 210/2022
The complaint was registered on 28 April 2022. It concerns Articles 5 (the right to organise), 23 (the right of the elderly to social protection) and E (non-discrimination) of the revised European Social Charter. FIAPA alleges that Article L4125-8 of the Public Health Code, which was introduced by Law No. 2019-774 of 24 July 2019 and which sets an age limit of 71 years beyond which it is no longer possible for candidates to stand for election to the councils of the orders of health professionals, is contrary to Articles 5 and 23 and Article E read in conjunction with Article 5 of the Charter.
The ECSR unanimously declared the complaint admissible on 21 March 2023.
- The decision on admissibility in Syndicat des Agrégés de l’Enseignement Supérieur (SAGES) v. France, Complaint No. 211/2022
The complaint was registered on 2 May 2022. It concerns Articles 22 (the right to take part in the determination and improvement of the working conditions and working environment), 10 (the right to vocational training) and E (non-discrimination) of the revised European Social Charter. SAGES alleges that French legislation (Article L 323-3 of the Education Code) deprives certain higher education teaching staff, namely tenured lecturers (commonly known as professeurs agrégés (‘PRAGs’)) and temporary assistant lecturers (“ATERs” for attachés temporaires d'enseignement et de recherche), of the right to vote and stand for election to the disciplinary board of the National Council for higher education and research (Conseil national de l’enseignement supérieur et la recherche (“CNESER”)). This body rules on appeal and as a last instance in disciplinary matters. According to SAGES, it follows that PRAGs and ATERs do not enjoy full and effective respect of all academic freedoms inherent in their status as higher education teachers and are deprived of their right to participate collegially in the governance of higher education institutions in violation of Articles 10 and 22 of the Charter. Moreover, SAGES alleges that denying to PRAGs and ATERs the right to vote and to stand in elections to the CNESER disciplinary board constitutes discrimination contrary to Article E read in conjunction with Article 22 of the Charter when comparing to the situation of senior lecturers (maitres de conférence).
The ECSR unanimously declared the complaint admissible on 23 March 2023.
- The decision on the merits in Validity v. Finland, Complaint No. 197/20208
The complaint was registered on 26 November 2020. It concerns Articles 11 (the right to protection of health), 14 (right to benefit from social welfare services), 15 (right of persons with disabilities to independence, social integration and participation in the life of the community), as well as Article E in conjunction with each of the provisions concerned of the revised European Social Charter. Validity alleged that in the spring of 2020, during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, no appropriate measures were taken by the Finnish Government to protect the life and health of persons during the pandemic (where residential institutions for persons with disabilities became hotbeds for the spread of the virus), and that no accessible information and guidance in accessible formats were distributed to persons with disabilities in that period. In addition, according to the complainant organisation, some measures taken by the Government to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 in respect of persons with disabilities, such as the prohibition to leave social care facilities and the prohibition or restriction of visits in housing service units for persons with disabilities, deprived such persons of access to personal assistance and healthcare. Validity alleged that, due to the above lack of appropriate measures and excessive prohibitions and restrictions, the Government violated the rights of persons with disabilities under Articles 11, 14 and 15 of the Charter as well as Article E in conjunction with each of the invoked provisions of the Charter.
Pursuant to Article 8§2 of the Protocol providing for a system of collective complaints, this decision will not be made public until after the Committee of Ministers has adopted a resolution or a recommendation, or no later than four months after it has been transmitted to the Committee of Ministers.