Through its membership, the IOE provides the largest private sector network in the world. Key IOE objectives include the strengthening of national employers’ organisations to represent the views of their members effectively to governments and other stakeholders, and to enhance their service delivery to members.

The challenges that face employers’ organisations today are many and varied. Continual changes and developments in the labour market, such as ageing and migration, are but an example.  The type of services enterprises are seeking from employers’ organisations is also continually evolving and recent moves away from centralised or even collective bargaining have impacted, and will continue to impact, on traditional service provision. Changes also within and to the trade union movement affect traditional roles for some employers’ organisations, particularly with regard to bargaining and increasingly with regard to social dialogue.

This changed environment means that international issues  will increasingly encroach on the national and regional.   One of the immediate consequences of this has been the emergence of new arenas for lobbying, with regional and international organizations now having more importance.

The increased process of regional integration has required a strengthening of regional employers’ organisations and, in this regard, there is heightened collaboration between the IOE and regional employers’ organisations. In Europe, BUSINESSEUROPE remains an important and valuable partner for the IOE, not just in relation to policy debates in Europe but also on global policy issues. In the Americas, the IOE works through CEATAL on OAS activities. Relations with the Asian and African employers’ groups, the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Employers (CAPE) and Business Africa have also been strengthened and the IOE collaborates with other sub-regional organisations on a number of joint initiatives.