European Social Cohesion Platform (PECS)
The objective of the European Social Cohesion Platform is to reinforce the intergovernmental component of the Secretary General’s strategy to enhance the Council of Europe’s work in the area of social cohesion, in particular through the promotion of the European Social Charter and its collective complaints procedure in order to ensure equal and effective access to social rights. The Platform aims to sustain and underpin the Secretary General’s reform process in this field by:
- promoting equal and effective enjoyment of social rights;
- ensuring that a social cohesion perspective is mainstreamed in the activities of all relevant committees and bodies of the Organisation, through the sharing of good practices;
- examining new trends and challenges.
The Platform was created as an ad hoc committee to respond to the request of several member States of the Council of Europe to create an intergovernmental structure to accompany the efforts of integration of the social aspects in the Council of Europe activities. It is open to all member States, institutions and committees of the Council of Europe, international institutions and other relevant stakeholders.
The Platform has a renewed two-year mandate from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019 and is instructed to:
- ensure the mainstreaming of social cohesion throughout the Council of Europe by further developing the concept, by contributing to impact assessments of the various activities in the different sectors with regard to achieving social cohesion and by promoting specific actions which contribute to social cohesion. Particular attention will be paid to ensuring that everyone can enjoy their social rights, as guaranteed by the European Social Charter and other relevant instruments, taking into account the findings of the relevant monitoring mechanisms;
- foster the exchange of good practices and innovative approaches in the field of social cohesion among member States, as well as with relevant international organisations and other stakeholders;
- promote dialogue with the European Union, the United Nations and other international organisations, with a view to identifying opportunities for co-operation in the field of social cohesion;
- examine new trends and challenges to social cohesion in specific areas such as:
- the protection and integration of migrants and refugees;
- the impact of the economic crisis on social and health protection, in particular combating poverty and exclusion;
- the access of vulnerable groups and young people to social rights;
- the respect of human dignity and anti-discrimination.
The Platform integrates a gender equality perspective in its work and advises, where appropriate, the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General on any action to be taken in this field.