European Law Monitor

Make your voice heard!

European Law Monitor NewsEU takes action to promote 'fair globalisation' at ILO forum

The EU is stepping up its efforts to promote 'fair globalisation' by ensuring that the international community takes better account of the effects of globalisation on people's working lives. Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimír Å pidla will confirm the EU commitment to promote 'decent work' • meaning more and better jobs with welfare protection, equal opportunities and social dialogue • at an International Labour Organisation (ILO) forum on decent work for a fair globalisation in Lisbon today. To this end the Commission is mobilising trade, development and external policies and will encourage EU Member States to ratify a series of internationally-agreed rules to improve the quality of work around the world.

"50% of people in the world have no social protection and 1.2 million people die every year because of accidents at work," said Commissioner Å pidla. "We need to work with global bodies like the ILO to promote fairer globalisation, taking account of its social and environmental as well as economic dimensions. Decent work for all can help fight poverty and improve working and living conditions • both in industrialised and in developing countries."

'Decent work' consists of employment, rights at work, social protection and social dialogue and gender mainstreaming. The EU has played a strong role in putting decent work for all and fair globalisation on the international agenda and set out its goals last year in a communication on promoting decent work in the world. Since 2006, the Commission has incorporated decent work issues in a number of trade and development cooperation initiatives. Decent work for all is also part of the EU Lisbon strategy.

Today's announcement represents a stepping up of these efforts. In particular, the Commission will:

- Support stronger cooperation and policy coherence between international bodies like the WTO, international financial organisations, the UN and the ILO;

- Intensify its dialogue on employment and social policies with emerging economies;

- Present in 2008 a stocktaking of its ongoing initiatives and next steps on decent work across the fields of employment and social affairs, development, trade and external relations;

- Encourage EU Member States to ratify a series of updated ILO conventions on decent work.

The ILO Forum on decent work comes two weeks after EU leaders met in Lisbon to discuss globalisation and the external dimension of the EU's strategy for more and better jobs. They agreed to come forward with a declaration on globalisation at the next EU Summit in December and to set up a group of experts to analyse the main challenges of globalisation for Europe over the next 20 years.

Further information:

ILO Forum on Decent Work for a Fair Globalisation

Commission's 2006 Communication: 'Promoting decent work in the world'