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The European Union and the promotion of "decent work for all"

In 2004, the European Union welcomed the final report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation (ILO), which highlights that "without a system of effective global governance, the process of globalisation is generating unbalanced outcomes and is not likely to lead to global sustainable development." It also highlights "the importance of a strong social dimension in regional integration if it is to be a stepping stone towards a more effective social dimension of globalisation." (A Fair Globalisation: Creating Opportunities for All, Report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation (WCSDG), 24 February 2004).
In the light of ensuring an effective follow-up to the report of the WCSDG, the Commission adopted on 18 May 2004 the Communication "The Social Dimension of Globalisation - the EU’s policy contribution on extending the benefits to all":
“The EU must also ensure that it exercises its external policies in a way which contributes to maximising the benefits of globalisation for all social groups in all its partner countries and regions. Its external policies have always had an important social dimension, for example in supporting universal access to basic social services in the developing world. For some time now, the EU has also been promoting the effectiveness and coherence of global governance, including economic governance, through international institutions, to ensure that trade policy and bilateral relations with regions and individual countries are fully supportive of social development and to ensure that development and external co-operation contributes to maximise positive and minimise negative social consequences of globalisation. It also encourages the private sector to contribute to these objectives.”

According to the Commission Communication on "decent work for all" (24 May 2006):
“Decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives. It involves opportunities for work that is productive, freely chosen and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for the worker and his/her family, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organise and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. It includes also the core labour standards (prohibition of child labour and of forced labour, prohibition of discrimination in employment and freedom of association and collective bargaining) but at the same time it encompasses a broader approach.” (For a better definition of the concept of “decent work”, which was first used in 2000 by the ILO, see Annexe I of the communication).
According to a conference held in Brussels in January 2008 as a follow-up to the May 2006 Commission Communication on decent work, the European Union’s forthcoming report in September 2008 will “cover different dimensions of internal and external EU policies that are relevant for promoting decent work for all in the world and aims to”:
1. Better mobilise EU policies to promote decent work
2. Take stock of efforts made at EU and national level so far to promote decent work
3. Contribute to the international agenda on decent work, in particular by cooperating with the International Labour Organisation and wider UN family
4. Further mobilise all relevant actors to foster the social dimension of globalisation


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