Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 24/01/2017

13th high-level meeting between the European Commission and the International Labour Organization

On 18 and 19 January, the International Labour Office (ILO) and the European Commission held their13th high-level meeting at ILO’s Headquarters in Geneva.

© ILO - Marcel Crozet

Some very concrete EU/ILO projects supporting decent work inside and outside the EU were reviewed. They cover a varied area of action such as

  • establishing a fund to support Occupational Safety and Health in garment global supply chains,
  • improving respect for core labour standards by EU Trade partners,
  • fighting forced labour and other unacceptable forms of work in the fishing sector starting with Thailand,
  • contributing to the eradication of child labour in cotton harvest in Uzbekistan,
  • establishing tripartite action to combat undeclared work in Greece and Western Balkans
  • sharing analytical work on long-term changes in the world of work including as regards the sharing economy and digitalisation.

The future of work and the European pillar of social rights, supporting decent job creation, social protection, decent work in global supply chains, trade and labour and international labour standards were key areas of attention for exchange of views and future cooperation.

The ILO and the Commission further discussed developments and agreed to intensify their exchanges or embark on joint initiatives in specific countries as well as

  • regarding skills and youth employment,
  • informal economy and undeclared work,
  • migration and refugees
  • the social dimension of maritime and fishing.


Michel Servoz was heading a delegation bringing together different EU services dealing with employment and social, development cooperation, maritime, transport and trade policies as well as with coordination and external relations with the support of many others in the preparatory work.

Senior management across both institutions shared visions and policy priorities, reviewed achievements of the partnership established and identified areas for cooperation over the year ahead with the aim to promote decent work in the EU, in third countries and at global level, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals.

In a changing world of work and challenging global context, the ILO and the Commission reaffirmed their partnership and commitment to closely work together on issues of common concern in the year ahead.

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