What is the EU?

The EU is a unique economic and political union of 28 Member States that together cover much of the European continent.

The EU’s governing body is the European Commission (EC) which helps to shape the EU's overall strategy, proposes new EU laws and policies, monitors their implementation and manages the EU budget. It also plays a significant role in supporting international development and delivering aid.

Why are the EU and the EC relevant to IOE members?

Partnership with the EU is relevant for the IOE and its members because it supports private sector development and seeks to strengthen the capacity of employers’ organisations, as set out in the following documents: “A stronger role of the private sector in achieving inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries” (2014) and “The roots of democracy and sustainable development: Europe’s engagement with Civil Society in external relations” (2012). 

What is the IOE’s position on the EU?

The IOE and the EU enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship and collaborate constructively on the achievement of shared goals across a range of areas.

How does the IOE’s engagementwith the EU advance the IOE agenda?

The IOE is implementing a joint initiative with the EC Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) entitled “Strengthening the capacity of the International Organisation of Employers as a global representative employers’ organisation and of national member organisations, particularly in least developed countries (LDCs)”.  The collaboration aims to achieve greater coherence, consistency and impact of IOE actions; improve information flow and advocacy work; improve dialogue and the involvement of IOE members in EU development issues; and strengthen cooperation with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), thus contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 17 to “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development”.

The formal partnership agreement signed between the IOE and the EU in June 2018 means additional support for IOE efforts to enhance the capacities and services of independent and autonomous employers’ organisations to foster an enabling environment for business; to advance inclusive and sustainable development; and to promote responsible business conduct in an increasingly globalised world.

Additional joint IOE-EU activities include areas of interest endorsed by IOE members, including international labour migration, trade and employment, social dialogue and occupational safety and health.