Decent work worldwide

EESC opinion:

Key points



  • underlines the importance of the Commission establishing a strategy to promote decent work not only within the EU but throughout the world; it welcomes the fact that the new framework combines the ban of products made through forced labour from entering the EU with a system of enforcement guarantees based on international standards, due diligence and transparency obligations. However, it believes that the Commission should carry out an assessment on its economic, social and environmental impact, especially with regard to SMEs;
  • notes that, despite improvements, decent work is still not a reality for many people around the world. It is convinced that the EU must continue to strengthen its role as a socially responsible leader in the world by using and developing all available instruments – including legislative instruments;
  • welcomes the fact that the Communication to promote decent work in all sectors and fields of action offers a global approach aimed at all workers in national markets, in non-EU countries and in global supply chains. The EU must use all its policies, both internal and external , to promote and ensure decent work worldwide, placing this objective at the core of a sustainable and inclusive recovery and of the digital transition;
  • urges the Commission to develop specific aspects of the principle of decent work that today have a particular social and economic value, e.g. the fight against excluding the most vulnerable populations in the labour market; occupational health and safety; and the sustainable nature of employment in the green transition; as well as gender equality and non-discrimination;
  • particularly appreciates the EU's proposal to use trade policy as an instrument to incite third-country companies to comply with international labour standards, promoting decent work in all countries – including neighbouring countries;
  • welcomes the proposal to include mechanisms to assess and monitor the degree of compliance with the Due Diligence Directive. However, notes with concern that these mechanisms do not provide for social dialogue with social partners and therefore calls on the Commission to clearly provide for such mechanisms in the proposed legislative text;
  • calls for both EU support for a binding UN treaty on business and human rights, and an ILO convention on decent work in supply chains.