The Turin process for the European Social Charter
The Turin process aims at strengthening the treaty system of the European Social Charter within the Council of Europe and in its relationship with the law of the European Union. Based on the principles of indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of fundamental rights, formally established by the United Nations, its purpose is to improve the implementation of social and economic rights at the continental level, in parallel to civil and political rights granted by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Turin process promotes the idea that upholding social rights in Europe is an essential contribution to the principles of the Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights, promoted by the Council of Europe. In this light, one of its objectives is the ratification of the European Social Charter (revised) and acceptance of the additional Protocol providing for a system of collective complaints by all Council of Europe member States.
The Turin process represents a vital step towards a fresh restart for the whole process of uniting Europe, to be based on the fundamental values around which its task is to bring States and their citizens together, and especially on the values of the European Social Charter, recognised in the framework of the process as Europe’s social constitution.
The Turin process was launched by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe at the High-level Conference on the European Social Charter. This Conference was organised in Turin on 17 and 18 October 2014 by the Council of Europe, the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the City of Turin. It was launched soon after the Secretary General’s decision to put the European Social Charter at the top of his priorities, and this, with a view to increasing the relevance and impact of the work of the Council of Europe. During 2015, the achievement of the objectives of the Turin process was discussed at the Conference on the future of the protection of social Rights in Europe, organised in Brussels on 12-13 February by the Belgian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe. Two other high-level meetings marked the Turin process in 2016: the Interparliamentary Conference on the European Social Charter and the Turin Forum on Social Rights in Europe. These events, held in Turin on 17 and 18 March, were organised by the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the Italian Chamber of Deputies and the City of Turin. At the Forum, the European Commission presented its draft European Pillar on Social Rights.
Reference documents of the Turin process
- The ‘General Report of the High-level Conference on the European Social Charter’ (TURIN 1), established by Mr Michele Nicoletti, Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2014);
- The ‘Brussels’ Document on the future of the protection of Social Rights in Europe’, elaborated by a group of academic experts chaired by the General Coordinator of the Academic network of the European Social Charter and Social Rights, following the Brussels’ Conference (2015);
- The official speeches and Interventions relating to the Interparliamentary Conference on the European Social Charter, and Turin Forum on Social Rights in Europe (TURIN 2, 2016);
- The ‘Opinion of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the European Union initiative to establish a European Pillar of Social Rights’.