BETA


2010/2205(INI) External dimension of social policy, promoting labour and social standards and the European Corporate Social Responsibility

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead EMPL FALBR Richard (icon: S&D S&D) LOPE FONTAGNÉ Verónica (icon: PPE PPE), MEISSNER Gesine (icon: ALDE ALDE), ŽDANOKA Tatjana (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), HELMER Roger (icon: EFD EFD)
Committee Opinion DEVE GRÈZE Catherine (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE)
Committee Opinion INTA SAÏFI Tokia (icon: PPE PPE)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 54

Events

2011/10/24
   EC - Commission response to text adopted in plenary
Documents
2011/06/08
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2011/06/08
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the external dimension of social policy, promoting labour and social standards and European corporate social responsibility.

Parliament recalls that the role of the ILO in setting new standards is not respected, despite the involvement of the ILO in the G20, the global recognition of the Decent Work Agenda and the inclusion of employment and decent work in Millennium Development Goal No 1.

Parliament sets out the following main principles:

General principles : Parliament urges Member States to comply with the core ILO conventions, especially as regards the abolition of barriers to freedom of association and collective bargaining created by encouraging bogus self-employment or forcing individuals to renounce collective agreements. It calls on parties to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to commit themselves, in accordance with the obligations deriving from membership of the ILO and other international texts, to respecting, promoting and realising, in their laws and practices, the principles concerning fundamental rights, namely:

freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

International cooperation - social alliance : recalling that the EU is seen, on a worldwide basis, as a magnet and an attractive partner because of the unique combination of economic dynamism with a social model, Members consider that failure to comply with basic international social standards constitutes a form of social and environmental dumping detrimental to European enterprises and workers . They ask the Commission and the Member States to cooperate with international organisations on improving the social dimension of globalisation, having as reference the European social model. They suggest developing a dialogue with all interested parties stressing the importance of social issues and focusing on the implementation and enforcement of pragmatic and sustainable solutions.

Members advocate that the Union refrains from trade agreements with countries which do not respect human rights and core labour standards.

At the same time, Members call on the Commission to:

create tools for a sustainable dialogue with partner countries that is based on mutual respect, seeks the development of partner countries’ – especially developing countries’ – own resources and enables them to develop economic sectors with care; adapt the level of its requirements to the degree of development of each partner country; draw up a list of additional standards , which should be introduced gradually and flexibly, taking account of the economic, social and environmental situation of the partner concerned; establish the continuous monitoring of basic standards in partner countries; cooperate with the partner countries to fight gender discrimination and all forms of violence against women and make gender equality a reality inside and outside the Union; apply fully these standards and that neither free zones nor host country agreements can be used to escape them; cooperate with each other and with the partner countries to protect vulnerable groups and to fight not only gender discrimination but also discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation; make the elimination of child labour and respect for children’s rights a priority in trade agreements; create measures to combat child labour in which the creation of decent jobs for adults while enabling children to receive a suitable education should be included); ask for an EU child labour hotline to be set up where citizens can report all companies that make use of child labour anywhere in the world; create social attachés in the new External Action Service to increase its efficiency in the area of social policy; improve the quality of the skills of citizens especially in the EU neighbourhood.

In general, Parliament recognises that, although the international trend on bilateral trade agreements is gradually moving towards a greater acceptance of labour and social standards linked to trade agendas, FTAs still generally contain few references to social standards. It regrets that the EU does not have a homogenous formula for a ‘social clause’ to be inserted in all bilateral trade agreements and urge the EU to incorporate a social clause in line with other internationally agreed and recognised standards (i.e. ILO core labour standards) into all EU external trade agreements .

Parliament recalls that the competition policy and social policy must be combined and stresses that the European social model shall under no circumstances be weakened in favour of competitiveness and alleged economic advantages. Members reiterate that the European social model needs to be an example for workers protection in developing countries.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) : recalling that the EU has set itself the objective of not only becoming a pole of excellence on corporate social responsibility but also of promoting CSR in its external policies, Members call on the Commission and the Member States to seek to ensure that the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprise are strengthened. They point out that CSR should address new areas such as the organisation of work, equal opportunities and social inclusion, anti-discrimination measures, the development of lifelong education and training.

In parallel, Parliament requests the EU to encourage business enterprises domiciled in the EU to respect human rights , including economic and social rights, and the environment throughout their global operations, in particular those conducted by their subsidiaries and other related legal entities.

The resolution stresses that compliance with strict environmental standards by businesses from the EU in third countries should be regarded as just as important as respect for the rights of employees, as damage to the environment almost always also jeopardises the health of employees, destroys farmland, fishing grounds and other economic resources, and thus deprives many people of the basis for their subsistence. It considers that it would be right and proper for European enterprises which relocate their production to countries with less stringent social obligations to be held liable, including before European courts, for any damage and negative externalities affecting local populations.

Moreover, the Commission is called upon to introduce amendments to its Proposal for a Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters to enable claimants to sue a subsidiary domiciled in a third country, together with the European parent corporation, through the creation of additional grounds of jurisdiction.

Parliament stresses that no directive regulating CSR and enforcing respect for it should be adopted at EU level. However, it calls on the Commission to systematically include a chapter on sustainable development, containing a legally binding CSR clause, in the free trade and investment agreements it negotiates with third countries. It proposes that this CSR clause cover compliance with the ILO's eight core conventions and four priority conventions and also provide incentives for enterprises to enter into CSR commitments and an obligation of diligence for enterprises and groups of enterprises.

Workers’ rights and working conditions : Parliament advocates the implementation of freedom of association for trade unions and the right to bargain collectively without exemption in order to enforce, improve and defend decent work conditions. It recalls the EU guidelines on various human rights issues, which represent a strong political signal that these are priorities for the Union and asks the Council therefore to adopt similar guidelines based on the eight core ILO conventions, to be used as a pragmatic instrument of the EU that helps to better advance the Union’s external social policy. It reiterates that respect for international human rights law remains a binding obligation on all companies according to the Universal Declaration. Members ask the Commission and the Member States for the development of a proactive approach to address the social consequences of adjustments and restructuring related to globalisation .

Global Economic Governance : welcoming the organisation of G20 meetings at the level of social ministers, Parliament requests from the Commission a recommendation to EU Member States in favour of the implementation and ratification of ILO conventions classified by the ILO as up to date, in order to improve workers’ rights and working conditions within the Union and in the partner countries. The resolution proposes that the redefinition of global governance should be geared to greater integration of regulatory bodies into the legal order of the United Nations and greater respect for the principles espoused by its specialised agencies, particularly the ILO and WHO.

Documents
2011/06/08
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2011/06/06
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2011/04/20
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
Documents
2011/04/20
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Documents
2011/04/14
   EP - Vote in committee
Details

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted the own-initiative report drafted by Richard FALBR (S&D, CZ) on the external dimension of social policy, promoting labour and social standards and European corporate social responsibility.

Faced with the weakening role of the ILO in setting new standards in recent years, Members confirmed the need to make renewed efforts to ratify and apply ILO conventions.

General principles : Members urge Member States to comply with the core ILO conventions, especially as regards the abolition of barriers to freedom of association and collective bargaining created by encouraging bogus self-employment or forcing individuals to renounce collective agreements. They call on parties to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to commit themselves, in accordance with the obligations deriving from membership of the ILO and other international texts, to respecting, promoting and realising, in their laws and practices, the principles concerning fundamental rights, namely:

freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

International cooperation - social alliance : Members consider that failure to comply with basic international social standards constitutes a form of social and environmental dumping detrimental to European enterprises and workers . They ask the Commission and the Member States to cooperate with international organisations on improving the social dimension of globalisation, having as reference the European social model. They suggest developing a dialogue with all interested parties stressing the importance of social issues and focusing on the implementation and enforcement of pragmatic and sustainable solutions.

Members advocate that the Union refrains from trade agreements with countries which do not respect human rights and core labour standards.

At the same time, Members call on the Commission to:

create tools for a sustainable dialogue with partner countries that is based on mutual respect, seeks the development of partner countries’ – especially developing countries’ – own resources and enables them to develop economic sectors with care; adapt the level of its requirements to the degree of development of each partner country; draw up a list of additional standards, which should be introduced gradually and flexibly, taking account of the economic, social and environmental situation of the partner concerned; establish the continuous monitoring of basic standards in partner countries; cooperate with the partner countries to fight gender discrimination and all forms of violence against women and make gender equality a reality inside and outside the Union; cooperate with each other and with the partner countries to protect vulnerable groups and to fight not only gender discrimination but also discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation; make the elimination of child labour and respect for children’s rights a priority in trade agreements (measures to combat child labour should include the creation of decent jobs for adults while enabling children to receive a suitable education); ask for an EU child labour hotline to be set up where citizens can report all companies that make use of child labour anywhere in the world; improve the quality of the skills of citizens especially in the EU neighbourhood.

In general, Members recognise that, although the international trend on bilateral trade agreements is gradually moving towards a greater acceptance of labour and social standards linked to trade agendas, FTAs still generally contain few references to social standards. They regret that the EU does not have a homogenous formula for a ‘social clause’ to be inserted in all bilateral trade agreements and urge the EU to incorporate a social clause in line with other internationally agreed and recognised standards (i.e. ILO core labour standards) into all EU external trade agreements .

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) : recalling that the EU has set itself the objective of not only becoming a pole of excellence on corporate social responsibility but also of promoting CSR in its external policies, Members call on the Commission and the Member States to seek to ensure that the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprise are strengthened. They point out that CSR should address new areas such as the organisation of work, equal opportunities and social inclusion, anti-discrimination measures, the development of lifelong education and training. They emphasise that CSR should cover, for example, quality of work, equal pay and career prospects and the promotion of innovative projects so as to assist the shift towards a sustainable economy.

In parallel, Members request the EU to encourage business enterprises domiciled in the EU to respect human rights , including economic and social rights, and the environment throughout their global operations, in particular those conducted by their subsidiaries and other related legal entities.

The report stresses that compliance with strict environmental standards by businesses from the EU in third countries should be regarded as just as important as respect for the rights of employees, as damage to the environment almost always also jeopardises the health of employees, destroys farmland, fishing grounds and other economic resources, and thus deprives many people of the basis for their subsistence. It considers that it would be right and proper for European enterprises which relocate their production to countries with less stringent social obligations to be held liable, including before European courts, for any damage and negative externalities affecting local populations.

Moreover, the Commission is called upon to introduce amendments to its Proposal for a Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters to enable claimants to sue a subsidiary domiciled in a third country, together with the European parent corporation, through the creation of additional grounds of jurisdiction.

The report stresses that no directive regulating CSR and enforcing respect for it should be adopted at EU level. However, it calls on the Commission to systematically include a chapter on sustainable development, containing a legally binding CSR clause, in the free trade and investment agreements it negotiates with third countries.

Workers’ rights and working conditions : Members call upon all Member States to respect and promote the core labour standards of the ILO, to comply with the agreements signed to date in the social field and to apply in practice the principles therein relating to workers’ rights.

Members advocate the implementation of freedom of association for trade unions and the right to bargain collectively without exemption in order to enforce, improve and defend decent work conditions. They recall the EU guidelines on various human rights issues, which represent a strong political signal that these are priorities for the Union and ask the Council therefore to adopt similar guidelines based on the eight core ILO conventions, to be used as a pragmatic instrument of the EU that helps to better advance the Union’s external social policy. They reiterate that respect for international human rights law remains a binding obligation on all companies according to the Universal Declaration. Members ask the Commission and the Member States for the development of a proactive approach to address the social consequences of adjustments and restructuring related to globalisation.

Global Economic Governance : welcoming the organisation of G20 meetings at the level of social ministers, Members request from the Commission a recommendation to EU Member States in favour of the implementation and ratification of ILO conventions classified by the ILO as up to date, in order to improve workers’ rights and working conditions within the Union and in the partner countries. The report proposes that the redefinition of global governance should be geared to greater integration of regulatory bodies into the legal order of the United Nations and greater respect for the principles espoused by its specialised agencies, particularly the ILO and WHO.

2011/03/23
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2011/03/17
   EP - Committee opinion
Documents
2011/03/03
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2011/01/13
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2010/10/05
   EP - GRÈZE Catherine (Verts/ALE) appointed as rapporteur in DEVE
2010/09/29
   EP - SAÏFI Tokia (PPE) appointed as rapporteur in INTA
2010/09/23
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2010/09/22
   EP - FALBR Richard (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in EMPL

Documents

Votes

A7-0172/2011 - Richard Falbr - § 28 #

2011/06/08 Outcome: +: 561, -: 75, 0: 37
DE IT FR ES RO PL BE EL HU AT BG SK NL FI SE PT LT IE DK SI LU EE MT LV CY CZ GB
Total
95
64
67
45
30
44
21
20
19
17
16
13
24
13
18
16
12
10
12
6
5
5
4
7
6
21
62
icon: PPE PPE
244

Ireland PPE

3

Denmark PPE

Abstain (1)

1

Slovenia PPE

2

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Malta PPE

2
2

Czechia PPE

2
icon: S&D S&D
169

Netherlands S&D

3

Finland S&D

2

Portugal S&D

1

Slovenia S&D

2

Luxembourg S&D

For (1)

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Malta S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
74

Slovakia ALDE

For (1)

1

Sweden ALDE

For (1)

4

Lithuania ALDE

2

Denmark ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

2

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
49

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Greece Verts/ALE

1

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

2
3

Denmark Verts/ALE

2

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4
icon: EFD EFD
25

France EFD

Against (1)

1

Greece EFD

2

Slovakia EFD

For (1)

1

Netherlands EFD

Against (1)

1

Finland EFD

Against (1)

1

Lithuania EFD

2

Denmark EFD

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
25

Spain NI

1

Romania NI

2

Belgium NI

2

Hungary NI

For (1)

1

Bulgaria NI

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2
5
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
35

Spain GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

2

Sweden GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1

Latvia GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
51

Belgium ECR

Against (1)

1

Hungary ECR

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Against (1)

1

Denmark ECR

Against (1)

1

Latvia ECR

Against (1)

1

A7-0172/2011 - Richard Falbr - § 31 #

2011/06/08 Outcome: +: 402, -: 251, 0: 13
PL GB IT HU NL RO DE BG FI CZ ES LT BE PT SI SK IE LU EE LV FR SE AT MT CY EL DK
Total
44
62
64
19
22
30
93
16
13
21
42
12
20
16
6
13
10
6
5
7
68
18
17
4
5
20
12
icon: PPE PPE
241

Czechia PPE

2

Slovenia PPE

2

Ireland PPE

3

Luxembourg PPE

3

Estonia PPE

For (1)

1

Malta PPE

2
2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1
icon: ALDE ALDE
72

Lithuania ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

2

Slovakia ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Estonia ALDE

2

Greece ALDE

1

Denmark ALDE

2
icon: ECR ECR
51

Hungary ECR

For (1)

1

Netherlands ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

1

Belgium ECR

For (1)

1

Latvia ECR

For (1)

1

Denmark ECR

For (1)

1
icon: EFD EFD
25

Netherlands EFD

For (1)

1

Finland EFD

For (1)

1

Lithuania EFD

2

Slovakia EFD

For (1)

1

France EFD

Against (1)

1

Greece EFD

2

Denmark EFD

Against (1)

1
icon: NI NI
24

Hungary NI

For (1)

1

Romania NI

Against (1)

2

Bulgaria NI

2

Spain NI

Against (1)

1

Belgium NI

2
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
33

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Czechia GUE/NGL

Abstain (1)

4

Spain GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Ireland GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Latvia GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

Against (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

1
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
53

United Kingdom Verts/ALE

4

Netherlands Verts/ALE

3

Finland Verts/ALE

Against (2)

2

Spain Verts/ALE

2

Belgium Verts/ALE

For (1)

4

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Sweden Verts/ALE

3

Austria Verts/ALE

2

Greece Verts/ALE

Against (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

2
icon: S&D S&D
166

Hungary S&D

4

Netherlands S&D

3

Finland S&D

2

Czechia S&D

For (1)

Abstain (1)

6

Portugal S&D

Against (1)

1

Slovenia S&D

Against (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Luxembourg S&D

Against (1)

1

Estonia S&D

Against (1)

1

Latvia S&D

Against (1)

1

Austria S&D

Abstain (1)

4

Malta S&D

2
2
AmendmentsDossier
219 2010/2205(INI)
2011/02/18 INTA 26 amendments...
source: PE-458.587
2011/02/21 EMPL 155 amendments...
source: PE-458.761
2011/03/14 DEVE 38 amendments...
source: PE-458.581

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

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ZIMMER Gabriele
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EMPL
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activities
  • date: 2010-09-23T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: DEVE date: 2010-10-05T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: GRÈZE Catherine body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: LOPE FONTAGNÉ Verónica group: ALDE name: MEISSNER Gesine group: Verts/ALE name: ŽDANOKA Tatjana group: GUE/NGL name: ZIMMER Gabriele group: EFD name: HELMER Roger responsible: True committee: EMPL date: 2010-09-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: FALBR Richard body: EP responsible: False committee: INTA date: 2010-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: SAÏFI Tokia
  • date: 2011-04-14T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: DEVE date: 2010-10-05T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: GRÈZE Catherine body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: LOPE FONTAGNÉ Verónica group: ALDE name: MEISSNER Gesine group: Verts/ALE name: ŽDANOKA Tatjana group: GUE/NGL name: ZIMMER Gabriele group: EFD name: HELMER Roger responsible: True committee: EMPL date: 2010-09-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: FALBR Richard body: EP responsible: False committee: INTA date: 2010-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: SAÏFI Tokia type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2011-04-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2011-172&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0172/2011 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2011-06-06T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20110606&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2011-06-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=20036&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2011-260 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0260/2011 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
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docs
  • date: 2011-01-13T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE454.428 title: PE454.428 type: Committee draft report body: EP
  • date: 2011-03-03T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE458.761 title: PE458.761 type: Amendments tabled in committee body: EP
  • date: 2011-03-17T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE454.446&secondRef=02 title: PE454.446 committee: INTA type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2011-03-23T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE456.810&secondRef=02 title: PE456.810 committee: DEVE type: Committee opinion body: EP
  • date: 2011-04-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2011-172&language=EN title: A7-0172/2011 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP
  • date: 2011-10-24T00:00:00 docs: url: /oeil/spdoc.do?i=20036&j=0&l=en title: SP(2011)8071 type: Commission response to text adopted in plenary
events
  • date: 2010-09-23T00:00:00 type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP
  • date: 2011-04-14T00:00:00 type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading body: EP summary: The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopted the own-initiative report drafted by Richard FALBR (S&D, CZ) on the external dimension of social policy, promoting labour and social standards and European corporate social responsibility. Faced with the weakening role of the ILO in setting new standards in recent years, Members confirmed the need to make renewed efforts to ratify and apply ILO conventions. General principles : Members urge Member States to comply with the core ILO conventions, especially as regards the abolition of barriers to freedom of association and collective bargaining created by encouraging bogus self-employment or forcing individuals to renounce collective agreements. They call on parties to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to commit themselves, in accordance with the obligations deriving from membership of the ILO and other international texts, to respecting, promoting and realising, in their laws and practices, the principles concerning fundamental rights, namely: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. International cooperation - social alliance : Members consider that failure to comply with basic international social standards constitutes a form of social and environmental dumping detrimental to European enterprises and workers . They ask the Commission and the Member States to cooperate with international organisations on improving the social dimension of globalisation, having as reference the European social model. They suggest developing a dialogue with all interested parties stressing the importance of social issues and focusing on the implementation and enforcement of pragmatic and sustainable solutions. Members advocate that the Union refrains from trade agreements with countries which do not respect human rights and core labour standards. At the same time, Members call on the Commission to: create tools for a sustainable dialogue with partner countries that is based on mutual respect, seeks the development of partner countries’ – especially developing countries’ – own resources and enables them to develop economic sectors with care; adapt the level of its requirements to the degree of development of each partner country; draw up a list of additional standards, which should be introduced gradually and flexibly, taking account of the economic, social and environmental situation of the partner concerned; establish the continuous monitoring of basic standards in partner countries; cooperate with the partner countries to fight gender discrimination and all forms of violence against women and make gender equality a reality inside and outside the Union; cooperate with each other and with the partner countries to protect vulnerable groups and to fight not only gender discrimination but also discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation; make the elimination of child labour and respect for children’s rights a priority in trade agreements (measures to combat child labour should include the creation of decent jobs for adults while enabling children to receive a suitable education); ask for an EU child labour hotline to be set up where citizens can report all companies that make use of child labour anywhere in the world; improve the quality of the skills of citizens especially in the EU neighbourhood. In general, Members recognise that, although the international trend on bilateral trade agreements is gradually moving towards a greater acceptance of labour and social standards linked to trade agendas, FTAs still generally contain few references to social standards. They regret that the EU does not have a homogenous formula for a ‘social clause’ to be inserted in all bilateral trade agreements and urge the EU to incorporate a social clause in line with other internationally agreed and recognised standards (i.e. ILO core labour standards) into all EU external trade agreements . Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) : recalling that the EU has set itself the objective of not only becoming a pole of excellence on corporate social responsibility but also of promoting CSR in its external policies, Members call on the Commission and the Member States to seek to ensure that the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprise are strengthened. They point out that CSR should address new areas such as the organisation of work, equal opportunities and social inclusion, anti-discrimination measures, the development of lifelong education and training. They emphasise that CSR should cover, for example, quality of work, equal pay and career prospects and the promotion of innovative projects so as to assist the shift towards a sustainable economy. In parallel, Members request the EU to encourage business enterprises domiciled in the EU to respect human rights , including economic and social rights, and the environment throughout their global operations, in particular those conducted by their subsidiaries and other related legal entities. The report stresses that compliance with strict environmental standards by businesses from the EU in third countries should be regarded as just as important as respect for the rights of employees, as damage to the environment almost always also jeopardises the health of employees, destroys farmland, fishing grounds and other economic resources, and thus deprives many people of the basis for their subsistence. It considers that it would be right and proper for European enterprises which relocate their production to countries with less stringent social obligations to be held liable, including before European courts, for any damage and negative externalities affecting local populations. Moreover, the Commission is called upon to introduce amendments to its Proposal for a Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters to enable claimants to sue a subsidiary domiciled in a third country, together with the European parent corporation, through the creation of additional grounds of jurisdiction. The report stresses that no directive regulating CSR and enforcing respect for it should be adopted at EU level. However, it calls on the Commission to systematically include a chapter on sustainable development, containing a legally binding CSR clause, in the free trade and investment agreements it negotiates with third countries. Workers’ rights and working conditions : Members call upon all Member States to respect and promote the core labour standards of the ILO, to comply with the agreements signed to date in the social field and to apply in practice the principles therein relating to workers’ rights. Members advocate the implementation of freedom of association for trade unions and the right to bargain collectively without exemption in order to enforce, improve and defend decent work conditions. They recall the EU guidelines on various human rights issues, which represent a strong political signal that these are priorities for the Union and ask the Council therefore to adopt similar guidelines based on the eight core ILO conventions, to be used as a pragmatic instrument of the EU that helps to better advance the Union’s external social policy. They reiterate that respect for international human rights law remains a binding obligation on all companies according to the Universal Declaration. Members ask the Commission and the Member States for the development of a proactive approach to address the social consequences of adjustments and restructuring related to globalisation. Global Economic Governance : welcoming the organisation of G20 meetings at the level of social ministers, Members request from the Commission a recommendation to EU Member States in favour of the implementation and ratification of ILO conventions classified by the ILO as up to date, in order to improve workers’ rights and working conditions within the Union and in the partner countries. The report proposes that the redefinition of global governance should be geared to greater integration of regulatory bodies into the legal order of the United Nations and greater respect for the principles espoused by its specialised agencies, particularly the ILO and WHO.
  • date: 2011-04-20T00:00:00 type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2011-172&language=EN title: A7-0172/2011
  • date: 2011-06-06T00:00:00 type: Debate in Parliament body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20110606&type=CRE title: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2011-06-08T00:00:00 type: Results of vote in Parliament body: EP docs: url: https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=20036&l=en title: Results of vote in Parliament
  • date: 2011-06-08T00:00:00 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading body: EP docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2011-260 title: T7-0260/2011 summary: The European Parliament adopted a resolution on the external dimension of social policy, promoting labour and social standards and European corporate social responsibility. Parliament recalls that the role of the ILO in setting new standards is not respected, despite the involvement of the ILO in the G20, the global recognition of the Decent Work Agenda and the inclusion of employment and decent work in Millennium Development Goal No 1. Parliament sets out the following main principles: General principles : Parliament urges Member States to comply with the core ILO conventions, especially as regards the abolition of barriers to freedom of association and collective bargaining created by encouraging bogus self-employment or forcing individuals to renounce collective agreements. It calls on parties to Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to commit themselves, in accordance with the obligations deriving from membership of the ILO and other international texts, to respecting, promoting and realising, in their laws and practices, the principles concerning fundamental rights, namely: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour; the effective abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. International cooperation - social alliance : recalling that the EU is seen, on a worldwide basis, as a magnet and an attractive partner because of the unique combination of economic dynamism with a social model, Members consider that failure to comply with basic international social standards constitutes a form of social and environmental dumping detrimental to European enterprises and workers . They ask the Commission and the Member States to cooperate with international organisations on improving the social dimension of globalisation, having as reference the European social model. They suggest developing a dialogue with all interested parties stressing the importance of social issues and focusing on the implementation and enforcement of pragmatic and sustainable solutions. Members advocate that the Union refrains from trade agreements with countries which do not respect human rights and core labour standards. At the same time, Members call on the Commission to: create tools for a sustainable dialogue with partner countries that is based on mutual respect, seeks the development of partner countries’ – especially developing countries’ – own resources and enables them to develop economic sectors with care; adapt the level of its requirements to the degree of development of each partner country; draw up a list of additional standards , which should be introduced gradually and flexibly, taking account of the economic, social and environmental situation of the partner concerned; establish the continuous monitoring of basic standards in partner countries; cooperate with the partner countries to fight gender discrimination and all forms of violence against women and make gender equality a reality inside and outside the Union; apply fully these standards and that neither free zones nor host country agreements can be used to escape them; cooperate with each other and with the partner countries to protect vulnerable groups and to fight not only gender discrimination but also discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation; make the elimination of child labour and respect for children’s rights a priority in trade agreements; create measures to combat child labour in which the creation of decent jobs for adults while enabling children to receive a suitable education should be included); ask for an EU child labour hotline to be set up where citizens can report all companies that make use of child labour anywhere in the world; create social attachés in the new External Action Service to increase its efficiency in the area of social policy; improve the quality of the skills of citizens especially in the EU neighbourhood. In general, Parliament recognises that, although the international trend on bilateral trade agreements is gradually moving towards a greater acceptance of labour and social standards linked to trade agendas, FTAs still generally contain few references to social standards. It regrets that the EU does not have a homogenous formula for a ‘social clause’ to be inserted in all bilateral trade agreements and urge the EU to incorporate a social clause in line with other internationally agreed and recognised standards (i.e. ILO core labour standards) into all EU external trade agreements . Parliament recalls that the competition policy and social policy must be combined and stresses that the European social model shall under no circumstances be weakened in favour of competitiveness and alleged economic advantages. Members reiterate that the European social model needs to be an example for workers protection in developing countries. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) : recalling that the EU has set itself the objective of not only becoming a pole of excellence on corporate social responsibility but also of promoting CSR in its external policies, Members call on the Commission and the Member States to seek to ensure that the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprise are strengthened. They point out that CSR should address new areas such as the organisation of work, equal opportunities and social inclusion, anti-discrimination measures, the development of lifelong education and training. In parallel, Parliament requests the EU to encourage business enterprises domiciled in the EU to respect human rights , including economic and social rights, and the environment throughout their global operations, in particular those conducted by their subsidiaries and other related legal entities. The resolution stresses that compliance with strict environmental standards by businesses from the EU in third countries should be regarded as just as important as respect for the rights of employees, as damage to the environment almost always also jeopardises the health of employees, destroys farmland, fishing grounds and other economic resources, and thus deprives many people of the basis for their subsistence. It considers that it would be right and proper for European enterprises which relocate their production to countries with less stringent social obligations to be held liable, including before European courts, for any damage and negative externalities affecting local populations. Moreover, the Commission is called upon to introduce amendments to its Proposal for a Regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters to enable claimants to sue a subsidiary domiciled in a third country, together with the European parent corporation, through the creation of additional grounds of jurisdiction. Parliament stresses that no directive regulating CSR and enforcing respect for it should be adopted at EU level. However, it calls on the Commission to systematically include a chapter on sustainable development, containing a legally binding CSR clause, in the free trade and investment agreements it negotiates with third countries. It proposes that this CSR clause cover compliance with the ILO's eight core conventions and four priority conventions and also provide incentives for enterprises to enter into CSR commitments and an obligation of diligence for enterprises and groups of enterprises. Workers’ rights and working conditions : Parliament advocates the implementation of freedom of association for trade unions and the right to bargain collectively without exemption in order to enforce, improve and defend decent work conditions. It recalls the EU guidelines on various human rights issues, which represent a strong political signal that these are priorities for the Union and asks the Council therefore to adopt similar guidelines based on the eight core ILO conventions, to be used as a pragmatic instrument of the EU that helps to better advance the Union’s external social policy. It reiterates that respect for international human rights law remains a binding obligation on all companies according to the Universal Declaration. Members ask the Commission and the Member States for the development of a proactive approach to address the social consequences of adjustments and restructuring related to globalisation . Global Economic Governance : welcoming the organisation of G20 meetings at the level of social ministers, Parliament requests from the Commission a recommendation to EU Member States in favour of the implementation and ratification of ILO conventions classified by the ILO as up to date, in order to improve workers’ rights and working conditions within the Union and in the partner countries. The resolution proposes that the redefinition of global governance should be geared to greater integration of regulatory bodies into the legal order of the United Nations and greater respect for the principles espoused by its specialised agencies, particularly the ILO and WHO.
  • date: 2011-06-08T00:00:00 type: End of procedure in Parliament body: EP
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/social/ title: Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion commissioner: ANDOR László
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EMPL/7/03809
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Rules of Procedure EP 052
procedure/legal_basis/0
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
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Old
  • 4.10 Social policy, social charter and protocol
  • 4.15.04 Workforce, occupational mobility, job conversion, working conditions
  • 4.15.12 Workers protection and rights, labour law
  • 6.20 Common commercial policy in general
  • 6.30 Development cooperation
New
4.10
Social policy, social charter and protocol
4.15.04
Workforce, occupational mobility, job conversion, working conditions
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Workers protection and rights, labour law
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Common commercial policy in general
6.30
Development cooperation
activities
  • date: 2010-09-23T00:00:00 body: EP type: Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: DEVE date: 2010-10-05T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: GRÈZE Catherine body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: LOPE FONTAGNÉ Verónica group: ALDE name: MEISSNER Gesine group: Verts/ALE name: ŽDANOKA Tatjana group: GUE/NGL name: ZIMMER Gabriele group: EFD name: HELMER Roger responsible: True committee: EMPL date: 2010-09-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: FALBR Richard body: EP responsible: False committee: INTA date: 2010-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: SAÏFI Tokia
  • date: 2011-04-14T00:00:00 body: EP committees: body: EP responsible: False committee: DEVE date: 2010-10-05T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: GRÈZE Catherine body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: LOPE FONTAGNÉ Verónica group: ALDE name: MEISSNER Gesine group: Verts/ALE name: ŽDANOKA Tatjana group: GUE/NGL name: ZIMMER Gabriele group: EFD name: HELMER Roger responsible: True committee: EMPL date: 2010-09-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: FALBR Richard body: EP responsible: False committee: INTA date: 2010-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: SAÏFI Tokia type: Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • date: 2011-04-20T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2011-172&language=EN type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading title: A7-0172/2011 body: EP type: Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date: 2011-06-06T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?secondRef=TOC&language=EN&reference=20110606&type=CRE type: Debate in Parliament title: Debate in Parliament body: EP type: Debate in Parliament
  • date: 2011-06-08T00:00:00 docs: url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/sda.do?id=20036&l=en type: Results of vote in Parliament title: Results of vote in Parliament url: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&language=EN&reference=P7-TA-2011-260 type: Decision by Parliament, 1st reading/single reading title: T7-0260/2011 body: EP type: Results of vote in Parliament
committees
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: DEVE date: 2010-10-05T00:00:00 committee_full: Development rapporteur: group: Verts/ALE name: GRÈZE Catherine
  • body: EP shadows: group: PPE name: LOPE FONTAGNÉ Verónica group: ALDE name: MEISSNER Gesine group: Verts/ALE name: ŽDANOKA Tatjana group: GUE/NGL name: ZIMMER Gabriele group: EFD name: HELMER Roger responsible: True committee: EMPL date: 2010-09-22T00:00:00 committee_full: Employment and Social Affairs rapporteur: group: S&D name: FALBR Richard
  • body: EP responsible: False committee: INTA date: 2010-09-29T00:00:00 committee_full: International Trade rapporteur: group: PPE name: SAÏFI Tokia
links
other
  • body: EC dg: url: http://ec.europa.eu/social/ title: Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion commissioner: ANDOR László
procedure
dossier_of_the_committee
EMPL/7/03809
reference
2010/2205(INI)
title
External dimension of social policy, promoting labour and social standards and the European Corporate Social Responsibility
legal_basis
Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 052
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Initiative
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject