Last week, the 10th ILO European Regional Meeting took place in Istanbul. As announced, this meeting saw a lower number of participants from the workers' side, following a call from ITUC and ETUC not to participate.
Despite this decision, Governments, Employers and Workers who were present, adopted the "Istanbul Initiative for the Centenary: Future for decent work for strong and responsible social partnership in Europe and Central Asia" as an outcome of the meeting. The active commitment of different representatives of European Employers led by Ms. Renate Hornung-Draus was critical to achieve a positive outcome. The President of IOE, Mr. Erol Kiresepi got also actively involved and helped to achieve a good result.
The "Initiative" is a four-page document that:
Points out the improvement of the situation since the Oslo Declaration (2013), with encouraging signs of economic recovery
Reiterates the need to "promote strong and responsible social partnership in order to have social dialogue at all levels which contributes to equitable distribution, social progress and stability based on productivity-oriented wage policies"
Underlines the opportunities brought by the drivers of change that impact the future of work, in particular technological development, as well as the need to minimise its risks. As a means for future action, it is made clear in the initiative that reforms are needed to ensure that countries of the region translate recovery into strong, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment, enhanced competitiveness and rights at work. Comprehensive policy frameworks should include, among others:
sound macroeconomic, fiscal and sectoral policies for inclusive growth and employment
policies to promote an enabling environment for enterprise creation, sustainable enterprises and innovative businesses
education, skills development and lifelong-learning policies
policies to modernise labour market frameworks with more efficient regulations
policies for a fair transition towards new forms of production and employment relationships, digitalisation and automation. This latest reference to the new forms of production and employment was introduced, not without difficulties, to reflect the real changes in the world of work.
Requests the assistance of the ILO Office to, among others:
Provide up to date information, collect rigorous data and conduct research on employment trends and skills
Support the capacity building of employers’ and workers’ organisations
Provide assistance in the context of the future of Work Centenary Initiative and continue to support constituents to improve the supervision, transparency, and tripartite governance of ILO Standards, through the Centenary Initiative on the Standards
You may also access the opening and closing Statements of the Employers' Spokesperson in this meeting, Renate Hornung-Draus, IOE Vice-Chair for Europe and Central Asia from the links in the side panel.
We remain at your disposal for any further information on the content of the "Initiative" and the discussions that took place at the meeting.