110th International Labour Conference – Recurrent Discussion on the Strategic Objective of Employment: EU Closing Statement

(Source: EEAS)

110th session of the International Labour Conference

(27 May – 11 June 2022)

Recurrent Discussion on the Strategic Objective of Employment

EU Closing Statement

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

The Candidate Countries, the Republic of North Macedonia [1], the EFTA country Norway, members of the European Economic Area and Georgia align themselves with this statement.    

We warmly thank the Chair and Vice-Chairs for leading the discussions on the strategic objective of employment over the last two weeks.  We thank the Office for its support and guidance and also the members of the Drafting Group for their diligent work.  We express our appreciation to the interpreters for facilitating the committee’s work.

Let me again thank the Social Partners and all other participants for their constructive and engaged discussion in working towards achieving consensus on the conclusions.

We believe that today’s final conclusions provide guiding principles for coherent, comprehensive and integrated employment policies in a rapidly evolving world of work where we are faced with new and complex challenges in the labour market.

The timing of this, the third recurrent discussion on the strategic objective of employment, has been very opportune.  While long lasting labour market challenges persist, the opportunities that future of work drivers can bring have not yet been fully harnessed.  These guiding principles will assist in contributing to sustainable development and a just transition to transform and strengthen economies and labour markets through the creation of decent jobs, while adopting a human centred approach in line with the Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work (2019) and the Global Call to Action for a human centred recovery from the COVID-19 crisis (2021).

These conclusions aim to strengthen and provide guidance on employment policies in existing and emerging sectors such as the care, digital, circular and green economies and foster the transition to the formal economy.

Polices to improve decent work outcomes in trade and supply chains and advance respect for fundamental principles and rights at work are an important development, which we welcome.

The strengthening of employment policies in the areas of youth employment and the labour market transitions of people over the course of their lives’, including those in vulnerable groups, which are responsive to and anticipate labour market needs by way of quality education, skills development, reskilling, and lifelong learning are also key areas of importance.   

It is evident that social dialogue, including collective bargaining and tripartite cooperation contributes to the creation of decent jobs and is essential in promoting peace, which enables recovery efforts to build back better from crises and strengthens the resilience of enterprises and workers. 

The conclusions call for gender responsive employment policies to tackle gender inequalities and boost women’s participation in the labour market, through ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, measures to ensure a work-life balance, to address the unequal division of caring responsibilities and to combat violence and harassment in the workplace.

We also welcome the promotion of pro-employment and gender responsive macroeconomic, sectoral, trade and investment policies within the multilateral system.

The EU and its Member States acknowledge and support the pivotal leadership role the ILO plays in employment policies.  We welcome the actions identified in the conclusions, which urge the ILO to strengthen collaboration with international financial institutions and development partners to enhance policy coherence and in particular, in developing a better understanding of living wages, by undertaking peer reviewed research on concepts and estimations and providing assistance to Member States upon request.

We hope that the adoption of these conclusions will advance efforts to enhance and strengthen employment policy frameworks, which will ultimately progress towards the goal of full, productive and freely chosen employment for all.

Thank you, Chair.


[1] The Republic of North Macedonia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

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