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 two-year mandate from January 2016 to December 2017 with the aim of ensuring the mainstreaming of social cohesion throughout the Council of Europe by:
- further developing the concept of social rights;
- contributing to impact assessments of the various activities in the different sectors with regard to achieving social cohesion, including the relevant activities aimed at building inclusive societies;
- 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, in practice and without any discrimination, with a special emphasis on vulnerable groups and young people, taking into account the findings of the relevant monitoring mechanisms. For this purpose, the Platform will support co-operation activities carried out upon the request of member States.
The Platform will 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.
The Platform will 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 integration of the gender perspective in its works.
The Plateform will advise the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General on any appropriate action to be takenin this field.