Working with the ILO

Promoting decent work for all

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is the oldest United Nations' Specialised Agency and it is mandated to promote social justice. It develops, promotes and supervises labour standards and provides technical assistance to its constituents.

The ILO has a unique tripartite structure that brings together workers, employers and governments.

The EU and ILO can rely on a longstanding partnership, set up as early as 1958 and intensified progressively on the foundation of shared values. Successive Exchanges of Letters , renewed last in 2001, provide the formal basis of the cooperation.

The EU works with the ILO to promote decent work for all. The Decent Work Agenda is based on an integrated approach covering productive and freely chosen employment, full respect for rights at work, including the core labour standards, social dialogue and social protection -which encompasses health and safety at work. Anti-discrimination and gender equality are cross cutting issues.

The EU has concluded in 2004 a strategic partnership with the ILO to ensure the effective uptake of decent work and related issues at all levels. In its development cooperation, the EU promotes employment and decent work for an inclusive growth framework, to allow people to participate in, and benefit from, wealth and job creation. The EU also encourages partner countries to include social protection floors in their national policies.

The ILO is an important partner in the implementation of the external dimension of Europe 2020, the EU's multifaceted strategy for sustainable growth and jobs.

The world financial and economic crisis and its severe impacts remain a core concern for both the EU and ILO. The EU and ILO cooperate, including in international fora, such as G20, to promote sustainable and job-rich recovery.

The EU encourages and supports the worldwide ratification and implementation of the ILO Conventions on core labour standards and other Conventions that have been classified by the ILO as up to date.

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