On the World Day for Decent Work, I would like to recall how important decent work is to reinforcing the social dimension of globalisation.
Today, too many workers have insecure jobs, with low pay, precarious working conditions and without adequate social protection. We are witnessing worldwide uncertainty linked to the economic and financial crisis.
Global dialogue on employment and social policy has increased during the crisis, with the Commission strongly supporting this positive move. And we are building on the efforts of Decent Work Agenda as set out in the 2008 ILO social justice declaration and the 2009 Global Jobs Pact, as well as the established set of international labour standards. The EU remains strongly committed to this Agenda. We have been promoting decent work in our international, regional and bilateral cooperation, focusing on strategic partners in industrialized and emerging economies, Neighbourhood policy and enlargement countries.
But poverty reduction relies on different factors, including the creation of more and better jobs and social dialogue. This is why we are putting emphasis on the redistributive value of decent work, creating more income for the poor to reduce poverty and social exclusion. This is also why we strongly support the development of decent work and attention to employment and social issues at international level – in particular through the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the IMF, the UN and the G20. The Commission is stepping up knowledge building and exchange with global partners on key employment and social policy challenges like matching skills and jobs, youth employment and social protection.
EU leaders at the European Council recently committed themselves to strengthening external action further at all levels. They requested that labour standards be part of our policy dialogue with our partners. They also agreed to tap into the momentum provided by the Lisbon Treaty for a coordinated action of the EU and its Member States. It is now time to take stock of our actions and look at the way ahead in terms of the contribution of the external dimension of employment and social policy to the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda.