|From left to right: Guy Ryder, Director-General of the ILO; Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF; László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
© Kilian Munch / ILO
“We have an enormous amount of common ground between our international agencies, so there is no reason not to work closely together,” he said.
“Europe’s adjustment programmes are today bearing hard on the more exposed countries and the more vulnerable working families. We need to recalibrate economic and social policies so that the stronger shoulders bear a good part of the adjustment burden. We also need policies to promote the sustainable enterprises that are responsible for so much job creation. ”
Ryder was addressing a tripartite ILO/IMF/EC high-level panel, “Recovery from the crisis – coherent policies for jobs and growth,” during the ILO's 9th European Regional Meeting, which runs from 8-11 April in Oslo.
The meeting is looking for a more jobs-centred crisis response in Europe, where one million people have lost their jobs over the past 6 months alone. Economic growth in the Eurozone shrank by 0.6% in the last quarter of 2012, with a significant impact on other countries of the region.
The Vice-President of the European Commission (EC), Olli Rehn, asked the ILO to support the EC in its efforts “to maintain our social model and retain the industrial base in Europe. This calls for dialogue between the social partners and governments.”
The Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Min Zhu, echoed this need for dialogue and called for “a balance between growth and jobs” in Europe and worldwide. “While international organizations have different mandates, we have a shared responsibility to the peoples of the world to better their lives.”
Harry Kyriazis, Executive Vice-chairman of the Federation of Greek Enterprises and Industries (SEV), also highlighted the importance of a sound social partnership: “Workers and employers have a shared interest in supporting the approval of reforms, particularly in a country like Greece.”
The President of the Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (CITUB), Plamen Dimitrov, urged the ILO Director-General to be more proactive in rejecting austerity: “We need the ILO to help to rebuild trust,” he said.
Lázló Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, called for a “truly European labour market,” given the fact that labour shortages in some countries co-exist with high unemployment in others. “A deepened economic and monetary union must also have a social dimension,” he added.
The panel discussion showed growing consensus that social dialogue between governments, employers and workers, and a social dimension in reform policies, are necessary to overcome the current crisis.
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