Promoting Decent Work for All: The EU Contribution

In September 2005, the United Nations Summit on the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration endorsed the need for fair globalisation. It resolved to include the promotion of productive employment and decent work for all among the objectives of national and international policies. It thus stressed the essential role played by employment and the quality of employment in efforts to combat poverty and promote development: although some progress has been made, half of all workers worldwide earn less than two dollars a day and half of the world’s population has no social protection1. Prior to the Summit, the Commission, the Council and the European Parliament called for the strengthening of the social dimension of globalisation and for the promotion of decent work for all, in accordance with the ILO’s strategy in this area2. The promotion of decent work has been at the heart of the ILO’s policy agenda since the year 2000: in its decent work agenda, the ILO proposes giving all men and women real opportunities to acquire decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. The decent work agenda has been approved by the governments and social partners within the ILO and encompasses a number of universal strategies which are not tied to a specific developmental model. In 2004, it was incorporated into the recommendations of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation (CMDSM).