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

ILO - GB341 - EU Statement: Second evaluation of the functioning of the Standards Review Mechanism Tripartite Working Group

Geneva, 25/03/2021 - 18:00, UNIQUE ID: 210326_5
Statements on behalf of the EU

341st session of the ILO Governing Body, 15–27 March 2021 - EU Statement: Second evaluation of the functioning of the Standards Review Mechanism Tripartite Working Group, GB.341/LILS/5


I speak on behalf of the European Union and its Members States.

The Candidate Countries Montenegro*[1] and Albania*, as well as the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this statement.

We align with the IMEC Statement.

  1. We thank the Officers of the Standards Review Mechanism Tripartite Working Group for its second evaluation.
  2. The Standards Review Mechanism, being a component of the ILO Standards Initiative, is of crucial importance to enhance the relevance of international labour standards.
  3. The achievements of the SRM Tripartite Working Group in its first five meetings have had a far-reaching institutional impact. This forum has offered a structured opportunity for tripartite discussions – based on thorough and shared research on the status and promotion of instruments, which has resulted in consensual recommendations.
  4. Notwithstanding these achievements, challenges still remain: 68 instruments still need to be reviewed efficiently and a timely, effective and proactive follow-up has to be given to recommendations of the SRM Tripartite Working Group.
  5. We stress the importance for the SRM to have necessary Government advisors according to its Terms of Reference for effective revision of the ILO standards, especially when highly technical instruments, such as social security, are being discussed, which may require expert knowledge,.
  6. Standard setting has to be put on the agenda of the ILC and treated as an institutional priority. It should be fully integrated into ILO activities and recommendations.  This process is indispensable in order to enable the standards system to adapt and change in response to the changing needs and realities in the world of work.
  7. The need for such work is further emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic: labour standards provide a tried-and-trusted foundation for policy responses that focus on a recovery that is sustainable, equitable and inclusive. Action to keep these standards up to date is more necessary than ever. There are a number of notable examples highlighted by the SRM Working Group including the gaps in coverage requiring new standards in the field of apprenticeship and protection against biological hazards.
  8. We regret that the postponement of the SRM Working Group meeting to September 2021 has resulted in one missed year of the Group’s recommendations and its subsequent follow-up by the Office and the ILO constituents. We look forward to the SRM Working Group meeting later this year.
  9. The EU and its Member States fully supports and commits to the work of the SRM Tripartite Working Group in order to ensure a clear, robust and up-to-date body of international labour standards. We recall and support the thematic integration approach of OSH standards and the need for preparatory activities to implement it.
  10. We strongly support the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures to ensure timely follow up to all of the SRM working group’s previous recommendations, including concrete steps undertaken by Member States and social partners in this regard.
  11. Ratification and effective application of up-to-date standards in consultation with employers’ and workers’ organizations are key, as is the role of the ILO office in the follow up on recommendations. 
  12. We thank the SRM Tripartite Working Group for its important work under its mandate and encourage the Working Group to continue its efforts.
  13. We look forward to the next evaluation, to take place no later than March 2022.
  14. IMEC has proposed a sub amendment to the employers’ amendment. The EU and its Member States support this sub amendment. This means the EU and its Member States support the decision point as originally proposed for A and B1, and accept point C as amended by the employers and sub amended by IMEC, namely the addition clarifying that the Office, in consultation with the Officers, is requested to draw up an analysis of the lessons learned and identify opportunities for areas of improvement.


[1] * Montenegro and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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