Celebrating 60 years of the European Social Charter

Sep 21 2022 Posted: 13:44 IST

The Centre of Housing Law, Rights and Policy and the School of Law at the University of Galway celebrates 60 years of the European Social Charter.

The European Social Charter is the main instrument protecting social rights within the Council of Europe, as well as on its relationship to the European Union. This Event organised by Dr Shivaun Quinlivan and Professor Padraic Kenna of the School of Law, together with colleagues from the Academic Network on the European Social Charter (ANESC) at Maynooth University and Ulster University featured two interventions. A first intervention by Prof Aoife Nolan discussed the achievements of the European Social Charter and of its monitoring body (the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR)), as well as the challenges ahead, with a particular emphasis on the Collective Complaints Mechanism which allows NGOs and unions to address situations of non-conformity to the ECSR, and on the role of civil society in the reporting mechanism of the Social Charter. A second intervention by Prof Olivier De Schutter of University of Louvian, Belgium, and former UN Special Rapporteur, explored the relationship of the Social Charter to the EU and EU law. 

While the EU has adopted the Charter of Fundamental Rights (including a set of social rights and principles) that is binding on the EU institutions and on the EU Member States in the implementation of EU law, and while the EU institutions have endorsed the European Pillar of Social Rights, the relationship of these instruments to the Council of Europe’s Social Charter and, more generally, the role of the Social Charter in law and policy-making in the EU remain debated. This event, the European Social Charter at Sixty: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects for the Protection of Social Rights in Europe took place on 10th May 2022, and was chaired by Ms Eleanor Sharpston, a former Advocate General to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Link to video recording of webinar