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10th European Regional Meeting

ILO initiative calls for social partnerships for a future with decent work in Europe and Central Asia

European Regional Meeting endorses policy framework to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks relating to the future of work in the region.

Press release | 05 October 2017
ISTANBUL, Turkey (ILO News) – The ILO’s 10th European Regional Meeting concluded with a call for a future of work where partnerships play a key role in promoting dialogue, social progress and economic growth in the region.

“The drivers of change that impact the future of work, in particular technological developments, provide a myriad of opportunities but also present considerable challenges,” says the Istanbul Initiative, endorsed by the delegates from Europe and Central Asia attending the meeting.

The Initiative cites the ILO’s Declaration of Philadelphia from 1944, stating that “Labour is not a commodity and Members have the obligation to respect, promote and realize the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.”

The three-day gathering focused on the dynamic processes shaping the future of work in the region, which include rapid technological advances, globalization, demographic trends, large movements of refugees and migrants, as well as environmental challenges.

“There is a considerable amount of uncertainty about where the world of work is heading,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in his closing remarks. “Rather than being optimists or pessimists, we all have to come together with a feeling of determination and ambition. That ambition means not accepting, not being passive spectators to processes of change, but instead having the determination to be the architects of change, so that the future of work can be shaped according to what we want”.

“The ILO has not been a passive spectator to change over the past century. It has been a historic architect of change and we have done a lot to make sure that that change has bent in the direction of social justice. That is what we must continue to do,” he concluded.

The Istanbul Initiative presents a policy framework to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks relating to the future of work in the region. It also calls on the ILO to provide tripartite constituents in member States with the advice and support they need to design these policies.

The ILO European Regional Meeting takes place every four years. It brings together Government, Employer and Worker representatives from European and Central Asian countries.