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Overcoming the socio-economic crisis sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic

Recommendation 2205 (2021)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 22 June 2021 (18th sitting) (see Doc. 15310 and addendum, report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, rapporteur: Mr Andrej Hunko; and Doc. 15322, opinion of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, rapporteur: Ms Elvira Kovács). Text adopted by the Assembly on 22 June 2021 (18th sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 2384 (2021) “Overcoming the socio-economic crisis sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic” and underscores the need for member States to honour their commitments under the European Social Charter (the Charter, ETS No. 35 and (revised) ETS No. 163) by investing more in the effective implementation of social rights. They can do so by expanding their budgetary capacity and public investment programmes, as well as by ensuring targeted support to private enterprises, where necessary, in exchange for the latter’s commitment to fully upholding socio-economic rights, maintaining and developing employment opportunities, contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and engaging in greening (rather than greenwashing) their activities.
2. The pandemic context has highlighted the relevance of the European Social Charter as a benchmark for human development. As the Charter celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, the Assembly pays tribute to the ability of this living instrument to gradually embrace new socio-economic developments in member States. It welcomes that the United Nations has, in the last ten years, recognised a series of new rights as fundamental human rights and believes that they should also be reflected in the European Social Charter.
3. The Assembly thus recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1 mandate the European Committee of Social Rights to study the feasibility of adding new rights to the catalogue of rights already protected by the Charter and of expanding the reach of existing rights to all persons living under the jurisdiction of States parties;
3.2 call on the four countries which have not yet ratified the Protocol amending the European Social Charter (ETS No. 142, “Turin Protocol”) to do so as soon as possible and, regarding the election of the members of the European Committee of Social Rights by the Assembly, to ensure, in the absence of rapid progress, that the Assembly can fully discharge its appointed function in the Charter’s monitoring mechanism by adopting a unanimous decision to that effect;
3.3 call on all member States to sign, ratify and fully implement as many provisions of the European Social Charter and its protocols as possible and to accept in particular the system of collective complaints provided for under the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter (ETS No. 158).