Delegation of the European Union to the
UN and other international organisations in Geneva

ILC 105 - EU Statement - Committee on Advancing Social Justice - Reviewing the impact of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization - Point B

Geneva, 31/05/2016 - 09:00, UNIQUE ID: 160721_1
Statements on behalf of the EU

International Labour Conference - 105th session (30th May – 10th June 2016) - Committee on Advancing Social Justice - Reviewing the impact of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization - Point B: Recurrent Item Discussions

Thank you Chair, I speak on behalf of the EU and its Member States. The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*,  Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina,  as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia align themselves with this Statement.

The EU acknowledges the relevance of the dual function of recurrent item discussions; as knowledge and governance tool. The recurrent item discussions offer the opportunity to identify a shared and updated vision for the practical implementation of the integrated approach (that covers employment, social protection, social dialogue, fundamental principles and rights at work) and the choice of priorities for future action related to the strategic objectives. The recurrent item discussions and the related general surveys also enable the ILO, its constituents and stakeholders to advance knowledge and foster debate in particular in areas with an uneven rate of ratification of Conventions.

We recognize some important results of the recurrent item discussions like smoothing the way for the Social Protection Floors Recommendation or for the ILC discussion on global supply chains. However the impact of the recurrent item discussions has been limited and challenges remain. We really need to think about how we can turn the recurrent item discussions into more strategic discussions.

We should strive for full alignment with the Declaration's focus on the interrelated nature of the strategic objectives, the integration of the cross cutting issues of gender equality and non-discrimination, and policy coherence for decent work, we may ask ourselves whether a seven-years cycle is appropriate. We could envisage a shorter cycle, which would perhaps also allow for better alignment with the ILO’s strategic policy framework and relevant processes within the UN system. A shorter cycle would enable the ILO to take into account and respond better to recent developments in the world of work, prevent repetition of discussions and help to decrease the reporting burden upon governments.

To avoid repetition and make discussion more interesting, we suggest to select more focused discussion themes. In this regard we recall that the periodical ILC recurrent discussion on fundamental principles and rights at work, is also a main part of the ILC Follow-up of the 1998 Declaration on FPRW in the CAS. We believe that more synergies can be reached between that process and that Committee and the recurrent item discussions. However, we should equally ensure that labor protection and social security can be discussed separately.

We also believe that the current format should be reconsidered in terms of broader participation for the sharing experience. The ILO could renew itself as an organization by involving international and regional organizations, NGO’s  and other relevant players.

Whereas we are not in favor of creating a compulsory peer review system on implementation of the Declaration, we do see the potential added value of more research from the Office into innovative and replicable approaches. We look forward to hearing ideas on how the recurrent item discussions can be rendered more strategic and more efficient.

Thank you Chair. 



*The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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