Conference: Promoting Decent Work in Europe: the Role of Social Partners


09:00 - 16:30


Amrâth Kurhaus
Gevers Deynootplein 30, Scheveningen, 2586 CK
Conference: Promoting Decent Work in Europe: the Role of Social Partners

Work is central to people’s well-being. Work not only provides income, but can also give satisfaction and pave the way for social and economic advancement – of both individuals and societies.
The Decent Work concept that is formulated by the ILO’s constituents – governments, employers and workers – reflects the aspirations of people in their working lives. For society, productive employment and decent work are key elements to achieve social and economic progress.

The financial crisis that struck Europe in 2008 has had severe economic and social effects. Europe is still underperforming in terms of its growth and jobs potential. The main challenge for the European Union is well captured in the motto for the 2015-2017 bipartite Work Program of the European Social Partners: ‘Partnership for inclusive growth and employment’. This work program states that in order to respond to economic and social needs: “The EU, Member States and social partners should prioritise actions to achieve tangible progress on fostering Europe’s global competiveness, and inclusive growth and employment in Europe.”

Promoting growth and jobs in the EU being a major priority of the Dutch EU Presidency, the Netherlands’ Social and Economic Council (SER) and the Instituut Gak (Dutch Foundation) are organizing the conference Decent work in Europe: the role of social partners. This conference is supported by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and officially marked as a side event during the Dutch EU Presidency; it is organized in close partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).


Monday morning the conference will first focus on the common European values and the various national practices in creating and implementing decent work. Then we’ll discuss the contribution of corporate social responsibility towards implementing decent work.
After lunch, Lodewijk Asscher, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Employment of the Netherlands will deliver a key note speech on decent work in Europe.
This will be followed by a discussion on the promotion of fair labour mobility in Europe. The tentative program can be found below (Chair: Paul Schnabel):


09:00 Opening and welcome: Mariëtte Hamer (President SER)
Common European Values, various national practices

  • Trends in job quality in Europe / Trust: a key element in effective social dialogue
    Eurofound (European Working Conditions Survey / European Company Survey)
  • Social Investment: Reforming Social and Employment Policies across Europe
    Miroslav Beblavý (CEPS; Comenius University Bratislava)
  • The Changing Nature of Employment Relationships
    Kathleen Walker Shaw, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: focusing on the People Dimension of Triple-P
    Birgit Riess, Bertelsmann Stiftung (Business in Society)
  • Comments and debate
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Decent Work in Europe
Keynote speech by Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher
Focus on Labour Migration

  • Labour Migration and Decent Work: chances and challenges
  • Fairer labour mobility within the EU: Laura González de Txabarri (Rapporteur, EESC)
16.30 Closure, drinks


For whom

This conference will focus on how social partners at various levels, in co-operation with governments and the EU, can contribute to the promotion of decent work in and between the 28 member states.  To this conference participants will be invited from all member states, representing trade unions, employers’ organizations, governments, EU institutions and Academia.


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