The Ulster University (Northern Ireland) is pleased to share the recording of a conversation on the future of the European Social Charter (ESC), the main instrument protecting social rights within the Council of Europe, as well as on its relationship to the European Union (EU). The event took place on 10 May 2022 and it was chared by Ms Eleanor Sharpston, a former Advocate General to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The conversation, organised by the Academic Network on the European Social Charter and Social Rights (UK and Ireland) featured two interventions. A first intervention by Prof. Aoife Nolan* discussed the achievements of the European Social Charter and of its monitoring body, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), as well as the challenges ahead, with a particular emphasis on the collective complaints procedure which allows NGOs and unions to address situations of non-conformity to the ECSR, and on the role of civil society in the reporting procedure of the Charter.
A second intervention by Prof. Olivier De Schutter* explored the relationship of the ESC to the EU. While the EU has adopted the Charter of Fundamental Rights (including a set of social rights and principles) that is binding on the EU institutions and on the EU Member States in the implementation of EU law, and while the EU institutions have endorsed the European Pillar of Social Rights, the relationship of these instruments to the Council of Europe’s Social Charter and, more generally, the role of the ESC in law - and policy-making in the EU remain debated.
* Prof. Aoife Nolan is a Vice-President of the European Committee of Social Rights and Professor of International Human Rights Law and Co-Director of the Human Rights Law Centre, School of Law, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
* Prof. Olivier De Schutter is the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty. He is a professor at UCLouvain (Belgium) and Sciences Po Paris (France), and a member of the Global Law School Faculty at New York University