Guy Ryder: "ILO and EU have a shared responsibility of realizing decent work for all"

For the 10th time in a row, and in the presence of the ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, the ILO and the European Commission held their annual high-level meeting defining the focus of their cooperation for the next year. At this meeting, Guy Ryder honored the historical partnership between both institutions and looked at the common challenges in the face of the global crisis.

Press release | 06 December 2012
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder addressed the 10th ILO-EU high level meeting, describing the history of the ILO-EU partnership as well as its future challenges in current times of crisis. “The world of work is everywhere confronted with the impact of the financial crisis”, Guy Ryder said. “The ILO and the EU have a shared responsibility of responding to these challenges and seizing all opportunities for fostering inclusive growth and sustainable development aiming at realizing decent work for all.”

Over the past decade, the ILO and the EU have considerably intensified their cooperation, both within and outside the EU. The EU supports the promotion of decent work for all, the international labour standards and the wider Decent Work Agenda through its internal and external policies and actions such as development, policy dialogue and trade.

As an example, EU efforts have contributed to the ratification of core labour standards as well as other international labour conventions, both within EU member states and outside the EU. In this regard, EU-ILO cooperation should continue promoting the application in practice of these standards.

Social dialogue is another area of close cooperation. “ILO-EU cooperation can be instrumental for rebuilding social dialogue where it has been negatively affected by the crisis, such as in some EU countries”, Guy Ryder said

The ILO Director-General underlined the need and the opportunities for the ILO-EU partnership in the world of work today. “The need comes from the consequences of the crisis”, Guy Ryder said, adding that the ILO and the EU should cooperate as effectively as possible and orient their efforts towards a job rich recovery. He continued that the opportunities lie in the ILO and the EU’s shared values of inclusiveness, social dialogue and fundamental rights at work. “These common values can’t get weakened in the face of the crisis”, Guy Ryder concluded.

Under the initiative, global experience gained by the ILO will be shared with the world’s largest international public bank, while sector specific challenges experienced by the EIB will be used for research by the United Nations (UN) specialized agency.

The new agreement reflects the shared focus of the ILO and EIB on supporting economic growth and job creation, fostering skills and improving competitiveness. The two organizations will intensify the exchange of information and shared experience on a range of issues, including how to increase effective engagement to address youth unemployment. Increased technical cooperation under the initiative will allow the EIB to improve assessment of employment benefits and economic impact of lending activity.

“All lending by the European Investment Bank seeks to create high-quality jobs and make a sustainable contribution to the local and wider economy,” said Mr. Escolano. “I am confident that this new cooperation with the ILO will allow us to better evaluate the impact on job creation from all the projects we finance, to better assess how schemes support youth employment and to ensure that we are more effective in supporting sustainable growth in the years to come, ” he added.

“This agreement represents a significant step forward in strengthening cooperation and formalizing relations between the two organizations and will form the basis for a strategic partnership with the mutual objective of creating more and better quality employment,” said Mr.Ryder.

Improved technical understanding of economic competitiveness and effective support for job creation will strengthen lending activity by the EIB in North Africa and the Eastern Partnership countries, including under the recently launched € 315 billion Investment Plan for Europe.

The future cooperation will also build on current EIB-ILO research examining the employment impact of EIB-backed projects in the Mediterranean, to include other regions in Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union (EU) owned by its member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the UN agency devoted to advancing opportunities for women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. Its main aims are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue in handling work-related issues.