CONFERENCE OF INGOS OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

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The CESP representatives, Ms. Elisabeth Villiger Toufexis and Ms. Chantal Pontal participated on the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe held from 8 to 12 April 2019 in Strasbourg.

CESP representatives, Ms. Elisabeth Villiger Toufexis and Ms. Chantal Pontal
CESP representatives, Ms. Elisabeth Villiger Toufexis and Ms. Chantal Pontal

On this occasion, in addition to having attended various debates, CESP representatives had the opportunity to meet Anna Rurka, the President of the Conference of INGOs, who informed them that the Council of Europe is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and that the current period is crucial for the CoE as well as for the Conference of INGOs.

Exiting from this budget crisis, which is above all a political crisis, is a challenge for the Organization because the Russian Federation has not paid its ordinary contribution to the Council of Europe’s budget since 2016. In addition, Turkey decided to reduce its contribution and regain its original status as an ordinary contributor to the Council of Europe. In order to cope with these budgetary constraints, restrictive measures have already been implemented and even more important measures are being studied by the Secretary General and the Committee of Ministers, which will have an impact on the work and capacity of the Council and the Council of Europe with regard to standardization, monitoring and cooperation activities. The Council of Europe reform process initiated by the Committee of Ministers at the Danish Ministerial Session in May 2018 will take place during two meetings of the Committee of Ministers which will host the Ambassador of France, who will present the priorities of the Council of Europe.

Moreover, CESP representatives had a very constructive meeting with Henrik Kristensen, Deputy Head of the European Social Charter Service and Laurent Viotti, Collective Complaints Coordinator.

Below is a summary of the European Social Charter and what it can bring to each of our trade unions through the CESP. This is an important element that should not be neglected.

The European Social Charter
The European Social Charter

THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHARTER

The European Social Charter sets out rights and freedoms and establishes a control system that ensures their respect by the States Parties. The rights guaranteed by the Charter concern all individuals in their daily lives Housing Health Education Employment Legal and social protection Movement of people Non-discrimination THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF SOCIAL RIGHTS The respect of the commitments set out in the Charter is subject to the control of the European Committee of Social Rights. Its fifteen independent and impartial members are elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for a six-year term, renewable once. It rules in law on the conformity or not to the Charter of the national situations of the States Parties.

1) The control procedure on the basis of national reports Judicial phase: The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) rules in law on the conformity of laws and practices with the Charter. It adopts conclusions for the reporting procedure Follow-up phase: The Government Committee Representatives of States Parties ensures that States bring situations into conformity with the Charter. Otherwise he may invite the Committee of Ministers to adopt a recommendation against the State concerned.

2) The collective complaints procedure The European Committee of Social Rights may receive appeals alleging violations of the Charter. Recourse may be had by States which have accepted the procedure:

  1. ETUC, UIECE and IOE
  2. International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) with participatory status with the Council of Europe and included on a list prepared for that purpose by the Governmental Committee;
  3. the employers’ organizations and the trade unions of the State concerned;
  4. National NGOs. Judicial phase: The European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) rules in law on the admissibility of claims and on their merits Follow-up phase: The Committee of Ministers ensures that states bring the situation into conformity with the Charter. Otherwise he makes recommendations against the State concerned. EFFECTS OF CHARTER APPLICATION IN STATES As a result of the work of the control mechanism, States make many changes in law or practice to bring the situation into conformity with the Charter. The details of these results (and current developments) can be found in the state information sheets available on the internetl site.