Reform of the European Social Charter system
The process for reforming the European Social Charter system finds its root in the High-level Conference on the European Social Charter held in Turin on 17 and 18 October 2014. The Turin Process was launched on that occasion with a view to revitalising the commitment of States Parties to social and economic rights as enshrined in the European Social Charter as an integral part of human rights, alongside the civil and political rights of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Building on the Turin Process, reflection on reforming the European Social Charter system continued in the Organisation during the following years. In 2018 and 2019, upon request of the Committee of Ministers, the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) drew up two reports on the possible way forward. The Secretary General also made proposals after seeking the advice of a high-level group of social rights experts (2020-2021). On 7 October 2021, the Committee of Ministers established an ad hoc working group on improving the European Social Charter system (GT-CHARTE); its consolidated report summarising its proposals was endorsed at a ministerial session of the Committee of Ministers in Turin in May 2022.
This part of the reform process culminated on 27 September 2022 with the adoption by the Committee of Ministers of operational changes to the European Social Charter system. The aim of this reform of the European Social Charter system to ensure better respect for social rights involves the modernisation of the reporting procedures and promoting enhanced dialogue between the Charter organs (the European Committee of Social Rights and the Governmental Committee) and other stakeholders (national authorities and relevant institutions and organisations).
The implementation of the new system will start being phased in as of 2023. In practical terms, this means that States Parties will be requested to submit a report by the end of 2023, either an ad hoc report or an ordinary statutory report on one of the two groups of Charter provisions (the European Committee of Social Rights and the Governmental Committee will decide on this in the coming months).
- Improving the European Social Charter system – Consolidated Report (CM(2022)67-final)
- Improving the implementation of social rights – reinforcing the European Social Charter system: Secretary General’s proposals (SG/Inf(2021)13)
- Report of the High Level Group of Experts on Social Rights (SGAs)
- Reports of the Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH)